25 Years in the SignWriting Community

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Jul 30 16:10:23 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
July 30, 2005

> On Jul 29, 2005, at 5:55 PM, Charles Butler wrote:
> I'm just thoroughly learning the IMWA even now (after 25 years in  
> the SW community).

Hello Charles, Stuart, Stefan, Ingvild and everyone!

Thank you for choosing to learn all these new developments...I can  
imagine it must feel overwhelming for all of you, and I am going to  
try my best now, to explain everything...You could not have learned  
these new developments 25 years ago, Charles, because they didn't  
exist yet! ;-)

All writing systems change with use, and if, 25 years ago, I had not  
been flexible, SignWriting would not be used today. It is because I  
listened to our users, and made the changes that the majority  
requested, that SignWriting is now becoming the written form for 36  
signed languages...

Want to see our new Who Uses SignWriting web page? There are more  
countries now...

Who Uses SignWriting?

But that means that it has been a little painful for you and me,  
Charles, because we have to adjust to the changes, because our  
documents have to change to match the way things are written today.

I believe that the SignWriting symbols are becoming stable within the  
signed languages that have been writing for the past decade...That  
means the western languages of the Americas, and Europe. Japan is the  
only eastern signed language that has been writing for the past five  
years or so, but the other eastern signed languages and african  
signed languages, are now going to get the symbols they need to write  
with, starting with Ethiopia!

This means that the IMWA itself, which is a big storage archive for  
all the symbols, will become even bigger now, to include the  
handshapes from the languages we have not written yet...

So learning the IMWA is probably not as important, as writing lots of  
signs in your own signed languages, in SignPuddle. The more you add  
signs to your SignPuddle, the better we can determine what specific  
symbols you need to write your languages, and we can then, someday,  
give a special SignPuddle only for your signed language, without all  
the symbols you do not need...that will make things easier for everyone!

So pioneers, be brave! I hope to answer your questions soon...I am  
sorry I am always so behind.

Stuart...please write your questions in SignWriting...I mean show me  
how you would write it by hand, and scan it in and then post it to  
the list...I will add any symbols you need to the IMWA gladly! But I  
am such a visual person...spoken language descriptions of movement  
are very hard for me sometimes to imagine...the moment I see it  
visually, I know exactly what you need...smile...it will actually  
save you time if you can show me what you want in SignWriting from  
the beginning and you will see a big difference in my response  

Have a great Saturday everyone!!

Val ;-)

SW Lessons Directory

Course 1: Lessons In SignWriting

Course 2: SignWriting E-Lessons

Course 3: Learn To Read ASL in SignWriting

Course 4: Writing ASL Grammar In SignWriting

Course 5: Learn To Write SignWriting By Hand

Course 6: Lessons In Sign Language Transcription

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/sw-l/attachments/20050730/7e243026/attachment.html>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list