Gallaudet transcription class

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 15 02:48:10 UTC 2010

Descriptor - 1) Extended thumb and small finger obverse right hand with contacts right temple, hand rotates forward retaining contact with the thumb on the temple.  2) Left hand thumb and forefinger form small crescent C, held at at right angle with left side away from center of the body, above eye height, eye gaze looks at crescent C.3) Right hand index and middle finger fully extended pointing downward with hand pronate at edge to the reader.  Right hand moved over the C hand in an arc to indicate jumping over.
ENGLISH translation (not gloss) - The cow jumped over the moon.
The descriptor system actually describes the handshape (or body part) and its motion devoid of meaning. 

--- On Thu, 1/14/10, Jonathan <duncanjonathan at> wrote:

From: Jonathan <duncanjonathan at>
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Gallaudet transcription class
To: "SignWriting List" <sw-l at>
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 8:04 PM


Hi Charles,

    What is the difference between gloss and descriptors?  Can you give
us a couple of examples?


On 09/01/2010 7:05 PM, Charles Butler wrote:

  I've just checked the ELAN software they talk about and it is
entirely a gloss-based system.  It has nothing to do with actual sign
language transcription but controlled glossing and description in
English or other spoken languages.  I am working with a project that
will take Sign Writing and put it into English descriptors (not
glossing but descriptors) for linguistic research by another method,
but in addition, being able to add whatever translation or glossing may
be useful.  It's a different methodology altogether.

  The ELAN software is a medium for parsing a videotape so that it
can be annoted step-by-step, so as a software it could, conceivably, be
able to use SignWriting as and "alternate primary language", but it
would be interesting to write the company and see what they could do.
 It is Java and XML enabled, so an interface could be created (finding
funding would be an interesting challenge).  

  Charles Butler


Cherie Wren <cwterp at>

  To: SignWriting List
  <sw-l at>

  Sent: Sat, January 9,
2010 12:41:52 PM

  Subject: [sw-l]
Gallaudet transcription class


  PST 371-01

  Transcription of Sign Languages (1 credit)

course begins by providing a brief history on transcription practices
in signed languages, particularly that of ASL linguistics. This leads
to discussion and evaluation of the role of glass transcripts as data
for ASL studies. The course then introduces the theory of transcription
and what defines successful transcription practices. Attention is also
given to learning ELAN software, a dedicated transcription program, and
applying it to ASL data.

  Tuition: $185

  Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Contact
  Julie.hochgesang at

  RID CMP: Professional, Introductory, 1.5 CEUs

Materials: Instructor provided materials (keynote presentation and
scanned articles) and software (free and available as web download).

  Instructor: Julie Hochgesang

  Questions: cpso at


Interesting, no mention of signwriting....  Anybody in DC want to take
the class and open their eyes?  ::grin::








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