Dan's SWML suggestion about pasting sign sentences from dictionaries

Antonio Carlos da Rocha Costa rocha at ATLAS.UCPEL.TCHE.BR
Fri Jul 11 17:32:31 UTC 2003

Angus, Dan, Valerie,...

  Just to remark that in Brazil we have never been keen to the
dictionary. Everybody is always retyping signs as they are needed.
Almost no one has developed dictionaries for storing in the SignWriter

  As well as few people are actually printing from SignWriter. Everybody
do screen captures, rearrange the signs in some graphical editor
(usually MS Paint) and then either print the document
or else use MS Word to build larger documents, and then print from

  All the best,

  Antonio Carlos

> On Thu, 10 Jul 2003, Dan Parvaz wrote:
> > What might be a cause for concern is if Deaf kids get used to typing out
> > glosses for signs. There is no real correspondence between the two, and
> > not only will it mess with the kids' competence in signed languages,
> > you're also going to have issues with spoken languages as well (isn't
> > the point here to move ~beyond~ "yesterday me car?"). But that's a
> > pedagogical issue... not a text processing one.
>         But SignWriter is not just about text processing.  Every text
> processing tool changes the language, just like every dictionary changes
> the language.  As you say, the whole point is to have a way to type
> without relying on spoken languages, which is why I was a little concerned
> from the beginning when Cecelia chose to copy and paste signs from the
> dictionary rather than learning to type.
>         I think one of the reasons for this is that the typing process in
> SignWriter is confusing and unintuitive.  I'm not sure how I'd change
> this, but it'd be nice to try and get some usability/ergonomics people to
> review it.
>         Despite this, my understanding was that it was mostly the teachers
> who cut and pasted from the dictionary, and that the students were typing
> on their own.  Cecelia told me of at least one instance early on when a
> student couldn't find a sign in the dictionary and typed it in.  Can some
> of the Hodgin folks confirm this?  Stefan?
>         If it is mostly the teachers who use the dictionary instead of
> typing, then we certainly shouldn't build that into the system.  In any
> case, I thought the point of SWML (as opposed to SignWriting in general)
> was to provide an alternative to the binary .sgn format.
>                                         -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
>                                         Linguistics Department
>                                         University of New Mexico
>                                         grvsmth at unm.edu
>                                         grvsmth at panix.com

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