SW Video Captions Receptive Expressive

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Apr 15 16:02:36 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
April 15, 2007

Charles Butler wrote:
> This is fascinating, because of SW facility in changing points of  
> view, we are able to even have this discussion.  This, to me, shows  
> the flexibility of SW over any other sign transcription system, one  
> could not easily show this is HamNoSys or Stokoe, though both would  
> capture the sign, but not the point of view.

Very true. HamNoSys and Stokoe are different and really not used for  
everyday writing of literature...

The only way ASL captions on videos can be useful, is if the writing  
system can be read by children and adults, and are a part of the  
daily lives of signers...not just for research...

> I like the determination of "who is doing the signing", yourself or  
> another.  If you are signing "aloud" from a transcript, then it  
> should be expressive for you.   If you watching someone else sign  
> and wish to capture what they are doing without mirroring, then you  
> can use receptive.


> Receptive was how the system began and the internalization process  
> got us expressive, so both are useful.

Yes... both are useful for sure...although there are more people now  
who know Expressive...

> In showing a video tape, having the receptive captioning next to  
> the sign, for a learning exercise, and then showing the expressive  
> for the dictionary entry is a good way to show the difference to a  
> linguistics audience, such as TISLR.
> I was so surprised that at TISLR, when a side-by-side comparison of  
> video and multiple sign languages was present, that SW was not used  
> more often as it is clean, compact, and taggable by any number of  
> parameters.

Probably a matter of time and technology and maybe even funding to do  
the work to get the SignWriting there...but that would have been  
wonderful, you are right!

> Walking through all of the poster presentations, I often found  
> myself unable to follow a discussion clearly because it was all  
> "words words words" in spoken language, without a single clear,  
> compact illustration to show what they were tryjng to capture in  
> "utterances".

Yes. This was true at the recent conference on linguistics that we  
attended here in San Diego too...

> The use of the word "literature" for sign language narrative in  
> isolation without transcription was also confusing,  The term is  
> borrowed, one would not call a spoken utterance "literature", no  
> matter how convoluted, but sign languages are presumed "non- 
> written" and therefore "literature" is the term used for "corpus of  
> a signing subject".

Yes. That maybe will change in time, now that we can post literature  
in SignWriting directly on the web in SignPuddle 1.5! A major step  
forward in technology! As our library in ASL and other signed  
languages grows, and there is more literature to read, it might help  
researchers realize and they can choose our documents to point to,  
for their research...

> We need to have so much real "literature" in signed languages, that  
> that argument can no longer be made, and a class showing  
> "development of sign language literature" by sign language users  
> would be a perfect presentation for TISLR 10.

Exactly! We read each other's minds ;-))

That is why posting more and more literature is so important!

> It would then no longer be "Theoretical Issues in Sign Language  
> Research" but "Real Issues in Sign Languge Study and Production of  
> Literature".

Excellent point!

Thanks Charles, for this message!

Val ;-)

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