seeking SignWriting readers; Stokoe index

Kimberley A. Shaw kshaw at WELLESLEY.EDU
Sat Jul 23 18:44:06 UTC 2005

Hello all:
am about to be away from e-mail for two weeks. 
Once I'm back, I'll be glad to post the poem I'm SignWriting and see what
you think ... but I'm most easily able to by posting a jpeg; my computer
does not handle gif files well at all!
I now have a copy of the SignWritten index to the Stokoe dictionary ready
to share with all of you! A paper copy of it will be sent "snailmail" to
Val. Why not put it in an attachment? Well, the idea is, that I've already
got it laid out so that it can be printed out on 4 double-sided sheets of
paper which can then be sewn (or stapled) together to make a booklet small
enough to keep right *in* a copy of Stokoe's dictionary! I hope somebody
at the DAC will easily be able to set it up on the SW site somewhere so
that it will print out as intended ...
Goodbye for now, "see" you all in 2 weeks,
Kim from Boston

sw-l at on Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 6:49 AM -0500
>Hi Stuart , Kim - 
>I liked your response! ;-) 
>Yes we are all still students of SignWriting - 
>well the most interesting point about SW is that there is often not an
>experienced SL-reader needed since SW is nothin but a movement writing
>In case you would write a document and would ask me (o knowing your SL) to
>look at it - I would be able to point out to you some spellings that might
>need a second look. (smile) 
>So go right ahead and offer your SW documents as gifs - to the list. 
>Just giving a link where they can be found may be somehow difficult for
>those of us who are not online (like me) but just take their email and get
>off-line again. 
>Stefan ;-)) 
>-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
>Von: owner-sw-l at
>[mailto:owner-sw-l at] Im Auftrag von Stuart
>Gesendet: Mittwoch, 20. Juli 2005 20:59
>An: sw-l at
>Betreff: Re: [sw-l] ASL novel; seeking fluent-ASL SignWriter
>Philip and I (both Deaf) are also willing to help in this way.  We are 
>also still students of SignWriting, but aren't we all.  :)
>On Jul 20, 2005, at 13:51, Kimberley A. Shaw wrote:
>> Hello Adam:
>> oh good, maybe we can thrash something out offline! I'm also operating 
>> on
>> the principle that sometimes 4 eyes really are better than 2, as even 
>> a SW
>> novice (in my class) can and has spotted gaps & such in a SW text.
>> Allabest,
>> Kim
>> sw-l at on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 1:46 PM 
>> -0500
>> wrote:
>>> I wouldn't mind doing that, but I don't know if I am a fluent 
>>> SignWriter,
>>> yet. Also, I would have to make sure that I have time to do so. Who 
>>> am I
>>> kidding? I would find time. I may be busy with several things, but
>>> somehow I find time to do the things I want. I mean, I am doing
>>> SignWriting aren't I? ;-)
>>> Adam
>>>> From: "Kimberley A. Shaw" <kshaw at>
>>>> Reply-To: sw-l at
>>>> To: sw-l at, sw-l at
>>>> Subject: Re: [sw-l] ASL novel; seeking fluent-ASL SignWriter
>>>> Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 08:01:38 -0400
>>>> Hi Val and everybody on SW list:
>>>> no, I am not asking for an ASL teacher ... just an ASL-fluent 
>>>> SignWriter
>>>> willing to proofread a text & tell me if it makes sense, or has any
>>>> glaring errors! Just like a proofreader for an English text.
>>>> So, aren't there any fluent-ASL SignWriters on list willing to do 
>>>> this?
>>>> Best,
>>>> Kim from Boston
>>>> Kimberley A. Shaw writes:
>>>>> sw-l at on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 10:35 PM
>>> -0500
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> SignWriting List
>>>>> July 19, 2005
>>>>> Hello Kim!
>>>>> Your enthusiasm is really wonderful! As you know, this new service:
>>>>> SignWriting Transcription Services
>>>>> not related to ASL. It is for ANY sign language video. It
>>>>> therefore requires no language expertise, only Movement Writing
>>>>> expertise. I personally do not know enough ASL or any sign language,
>>>>> to be able to offer the service you suggest below. And since at this
>>>>> time, we have no income, it would not be possible for me to hire a
>>>>> Deaf native signer to read and teach you ASL.
>>>>> Video transcription is another service, in other words...
>>>>> I hope you enjoy your writing in ASL...most people do not capture 
>>>>> the
>>>>> grammar that is great that you are developing that
>>>>> skill...
>>>>> Val ;-)
>>>>> ---------------------------------
>>>>> On Jul 19, 2005, at 6:36 PM, Kimberley A. Shaw wrote:
>>>>> Hello Val:
>>>>> the transcription service looks like a great resource! I hope to be
>>>>> getting together with a Gally emerita soon, and if my pencil isn't 
>>>>> fast
>>>>> enough to capture her storytelling, I may take advantage of it!
>>>>> Here is another suggestion, however. As an ASL student, I find 
>>>>> writing
>>>>> directly in ASL to be very good practice "immersing", and it helps 
>>>>> me
>>>>> retain the stuff I've learned in class. One of the things in the
>>>>> anthology, actually, is a book review that I've written directly in 
>>>>> SW
>>>>> with *no* English along the way! However, I *did* read it to my Deaf
>>>>> ASL-fluent teacher first to make sure everything was as it should 
>>>>> be.
>>>>> And
>>>>> so, here is the suggestion:
>>>>> how about offering a proofreading service for those of us whose ASL 
>>>>> is
>>>>> not-yet fluent, but are working on it? Say, I could write a story or
>>>>> essay
>>>>> or poem, send it to a member of the DAC, have them write up and down
>>> the
>>>>> margins with their red pen (or whatever) and then send it to me ... 
>>>>> I
>>>>> would pay for something like this!
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Kim from Boston
>>>>> sw-l at on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 12:18 PM
>>>>> -0500
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> SignWriting List
>>>>>> July 19, 2005
>>>>>> Hello Kim and Everyone!
>>>>>> To write a novel in any signed language, the most accurate way 
>>>>>> would
>>>>>> be to hire a native signer in that language, in this case ASL. The
>>>>>> storyteller would sign the story from the beginning to the end. 
>>>>>> This
>>>>>> will make it a truly ASL experience. Then the video can be
>>>>>> transcribed into SignWriting...
>>>>>> We do have some written ASL documents that were not taken from
>>>>>> video...written directly in the movements of ASL with no video
>>>>>> backup...but those were by native signers. Most people are not that
>>>>>> skilled in SignWriting yet. The video gives us the good grammar of
>>>>>> ASL so we get a good document that way.
>>>>>> I have now started a Video-Transcription Service for ANY signed
>>>>>> language. Your group provides the video, preferably in Quicktime or
>>>>>> other computer formats, and I, or someone working with me, can do 
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> transcription into SignWriting for you...
>>>>>> SignWriting Transcription Services
>>>>>> Val ;-)
>>>>>> --------------------------------------
>>>>>> On Jul 19, 2005, at 3:02 AM, Kimberley A. Shaw wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Val:
>>>>>> OK, have written to them now!
>>>>>> Now, I have one more query to *all* you ASL signwriters out there:
>>>>>> Since my anthology has the articles from about the
>>>>>> NAD and
>>>>>> the DNP protest at Gallaudet, I think there should be an article
>>>>>> about the
>>>>>> new town of Laurent, as well, maybe title it "Islay comes to real
>>>>>> life" or
>>>>>> something like!
>>>>>> So, who would like to write it??
>>>>>> Payment will be in copies of the book only, which is up to 9
>>>>>> stories now
>>>>>> (including a poem by Michele Bornert, just added).
>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>> Kim
>>>>>> sw-l at on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 12:21 AM
>>>>>> -0500
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> SignWriting List
>>>>>>> July 18, 2005
>>>>>>> Yes, the first complete novel written in Spanish Sign Language in
>>>>>>> SignWriting, by Steve and Dianne Parkhurst, is certainly 
>>>>>>> historic!!
>>> A
>>>>>>> beautiful book! And I believe it is the first complete novel 
>>>>>>> written
>>>>>>> in ANY sign language, in history.
>>>>>>> I have around 8 copies and I could sell one to you, but first,
>>> please
>>>>>>> write to Steve and Dianne Parkhurst to ask them if they wish to 
>>>>>>> sell
>>>>>>> it to you? I do not know how much they charge, or if you should 
>>>>>>> pay
>>>>>>> them directly? They are teaching linguistics at SIL this summer in
>>>>>>> North Dakota. Their course is the one that includes writing 
>>>>>>> Mexican
>>>>>>> Sign Language in the Mexican SignPuddle (with Stuart Thiessen's
>>>>>>> teaching and assistance)...
>>>>>>> So please write to:
>>>>>>> Steve and Dianne Parkhurst
>>>>>>> steve-dianne_parkhurst at
>>>>>>> It is a mystery novel, with illustrations by Steve Parkhurst.
>>>>>>> Val ;-)
>>>>>>> -----------------------------------
>>>>>>> On Jul 18, 2005, at 9:02 PM, Kimberley A. Shaw wrote:
>>>>>>> Hello all:
>>>>>>> never mind the ASL anthology I'm working on; *this* is very, very
>>>>>>> cool!
>>>>>>> So, even if it is a couple years later now, and I don't know 
>>>>>>> Spanish
>>>>>>> sign
>>>>>>> ... how can a person lay hands on a copy of this book?
>>>>>>> And if I can get a fluent-in-ASL collaborator, how about putting
>>>>>>> Wilkie
>>>>>>> Collins' "Hide and Seek" (which involves a deaf heroine, as of the
>>>>>>> 1850s!)
>>>>>>> into ASL??
>>>>>>> Allabest,
>>>>>>> Kim from Boston
>>>>>>> From:  Valerie Sutton
>>>>>>> Date:  Tue Mar 26, 2002  4:26 pm
>>>>>>> Subject:  Re: SPAIN: Conference at Val's House ;-)
>>>>>>> SignWriting List
>>>>>>> March 26, 2002
>>>>>>> Dear SW List Members:
>>>>>>> Here is a summary of the Parkhurst's work, which I have excerpted
>>>>>>> from a newsletter they gave me, written in March, 2002:
>>>>>>> ---------
>>>>>>> SUMMARY (mostly in the Parkhurst's own words):
>>>>>>> We have lived in Spain now for more than seven years. During the
>>>>>>> first two years, we surveyed the sign language (SL) situation. We
>>>>>>> found that there are two main sign languages in Spain that are
>>> unique
>>>>>>> from any other SL in the world. Our main focus for the past five
>>>>>>> years has been SignWriting. Our goal was first to see if the Deaf
>>>>>>> Community was interested in reading and writing their langauge. 
>>>>>>> Once
>>>>>>> they expressed the interest, our next goal was to make the writing
>>>>>>> system available to anyone in the Spanish Deaf Community who 
>>>>>>> wanted
>>>>>>> it. That meant developing a literacy program and sufficient
>>>>>>> literature for them to read.
>>>>>>> We developed a literacy program with a 228-page manual, teacher
>>>>>>> training materials, video and a few other projects. More than 300
>>>>>>> people have learned SignWriting in Spain, and now we have turned
>>> over
>>>>>>> most of the responsibility of distribution and publicity to a Deaf
>>>>>>> organization. We hope that even more people will learn SignWriting
>>> on
>>>>>>> their own.
>>>>>>> We also have a small base of literature consisting of 24 issues 
>>>>>>> of a
>>>>>>> semi-monthly magazine (written in SignWriting in Spanish Sign
>>>>>>> Language), distributed in Spain to the magazine subscribers.
>>>>>>> We have written, illustrated and published the first mystery novel
>>>>>>> ever written in SignWriting. It is a 142-page paperback-bound 
>>>>>>> novel
>>>>>>> written completely in Spanish Sign Language (with no spoken 
>>>>>>> language
>>>>>>> in the entire book). It is the retelling (in Spanish Sign 
>>>>>>> Language)
>>>>>>> of the mystery novel "The Moonstone" by Wilkie Collins, written in
>>>>>>> 1868. Steve did his own illustrations.
>>>>>>> Altogether, we have produced more than 475 pages of reading
>>> materials
>>>>>>> in SignWriting (not counting the lessons books). As far as we 
>>>>>>> know,
>>>>>>> that is the most published literature in written form in any sign
>>>>>>> language in the world!
>>>>>>> Linguistics
>>>>>>> We have published two issues of a linguistic journal and our 
>>>>>>> survey
>>>>>>> report in Spanish. Steve has also published several other 
>>>>>>> linguistic
>>>>>>> articles here in Spain and in the US, as well as giving
>>> presentations
>>>>>>> at a number of linguistic conferences. One of them was in Alicante
>>>>>>> (on the southern coast of Spain). Steve presented a study about
>>>>>>> syllable structure in Spanish Sign Language that he has been 
>>>>>>> working
>>>>>>> on (did you know that sign languages have syllables?)
>>>>>>>> From June to August, 2002, we will be a part of a team, teaching 
>>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>> the University of North Dakota, in the Summer Institute of
>>>>>>> Linguistics (SIL)'s first sign language linguistics course set.
>>> Since
>>>>>>> these are new courses, we will be spending a good portion of April
>>>>>>> and May preparing the materials for parts of the course. 
>>>>>>> SignWriting
>>>>>>> will be included as a part of one of the courses, on 
>>>>>>> orthographies.
>>>>>>> There are urgent translation needs among the Deaf communities 
>>>>>>> around
>>>>>>> the world. We hope that this SIL course will help train a few new
>>>>>>> workers!
>>>>>>> -------------
>>>>>>> Val again:
>>>>>>> Many thanks, Steve and Dianne, for the great summary!
>>>>>>> SW List members - You should see their mystery novel in 
>>>>>>> SignWriting!
>>>>>>> ....It is amazing and I will try to give you a picture of it soon 
>>>>>>> -
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> Val ;-)

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