Research Project on SignWriting...

Erika Hoffmann eghoffma at UMICH.EDU
Sat Nov 1 21:44:36 UTC 2003

I'm also starting a paper (for a class on language ideologies) that also will
address possible reasons that Signwriting has been in large part rejected or
ignored by the Deaf community so far. I'm a graduate student in linguistic
I'm wondering if Adam or any one else on the list might have thoughts about why
that is. Since I'm looking at ideologies (ideas, not necessarily facts), I'm
curious about the kind of ideas about language, literacy, community, social
differentiation, etc. that might be circulating in the deaf community and might
be having an effect here.
Also, I was really interested in Joe Martin's paper about the manner in which
signwriting pushes the limits of traditional made me wonder if
others might take that fact as deligitimizing Signwriting, rather than as
highlighting areas in which linguistic research needs to grow...?
Finally, can anyone direct me to a resource for finding out specificaly what
anti-signwriting individuals themselves have to say about it?
Erika Hoffmann

Quoting Valerie Sutton <Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG>:

> SignWriting List
> November 1, 2003
> Adam Frost, from Granada Hills, California, wrote:
>  >>I am doing a research project in my class about sign writing -- more
> specifically on why it doesn't seem to be strong in the Deaf Community.
> Because when I talk with my friends, of whom are Deaf, they have no
> clue what it is and/or don't think it is a good thing. I don't
> understand that.
> I guess I should give a background on myself. I was born Deaf. I have a
> hard time expressing myself in english. I know it doesn't look that
> way, but it takes me a long time to put everything in order the way I
> want to say it. My search for a way to write sign started when I came
> across "The Green Book." I didn't like how it used english words to
> write what sign. Because of the great determination that I had, I
> started making a method of my own. This was for about 3 years. I ran
> into a few problems. I was stuck. Then I mistakenly came across your
> webpage. My method was almost exactly the same, except yours was more
> developed. Plus yours had a computer program with it. :) So as you can
> see, I am very excited about this. However, I have been finding out
> that many don't share that same excitement. That is why I am doing this
> research: to find out why. If you can help me with this, I would
> appreciate it.
> |    |
>   ! !  /
> Adam

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