common criticisms of signwriting?

Erika Hoffmann erhoffma at OBERLIN.EDU
Thu Nov 5 20:40:22 UTC 2009

Hi! I mentioned the last time I posted that I'm working on a paper
about SignWriting for presentation at the American Anthropological
Association meeting in December.
One of the things I'm thinking about is the ways in which Signwriting
and Signwriten documents can be used to critique dominant ideologies
about language and writing that are common in Linguistics and related
disciplines. At the same time, I want to note that the radical nature
of the script can sometimes be a social barrier to its adoption by
signers (particularly because of the historical relationship between
the Linguistic validation of sign languages with the social validation
of Deaf signers).
I'm wondering if any of you would be willing to share some of the ways
you've heard people criticize or dismiss SSW (or point me to places
where these opinions are aired). I'm looking for people's concerns
about the script itself (i.e., "it looks like hieroglyphics") rather
than the other common arguments about the need for a script at all
(i.e., "Deaf people can just write in English").


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