AW: The graphemes of SignWriting

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Thu Oct 7 15:56:15 UTC 2010


Hi Alan

What ist his? Can you explain ...?

i ko djuno fi le do sevzi


Stefan ;-)



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Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACC.EDU] Im Auftrag von Alan Post
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 7. Oktober 2010 16:34
An: SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACC.EDU
Betreff: Re: The graphemes of SignWriting

On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 05:57:11AM -0500, Steve Slevinski wrote:
>  Hi List,
> 
> While preparing a document for publication, I wrote an introductory 
> sentence about the graphemes of SignWriting.  Any feedback would be 
> appreciated...
> 
> 1.1.1.  Grapheme
> 
>    The grapheme is the fundamental unit of writing for the SignWriting
>    script.  The graphemes of SignWriting are visually iconic.  Each
>    grapheme has a defined size and shape.  The main writing graphemes of
>    SignWriting represent a visual conception: either hands, movement,
>    dynamics, timing, head, face, or body.  These graphemes are used in
>    clusters.
> 

I know this from my experience working with SignWriting, but I'm not
sure I'd really get it if I hadn't see the system.  The fact that
you named the clusters and then said "these are the clusters" goes
by pretty fast.  Unless you meant by cluster the groupings of
graphemes to say a word?

I might also say "fundamental unit of writing a word in the
SignWriting script."  I'm not actually sure this is accurate, but
before I really worked with language, the differences between
typography, orthology, phonology, and morphology were all very fuzzy
to me, and I could have used more help from my introductory
material.


>    Detailed location graphemes are separate from writing graphemes.
>    Detailed location graphemes are used individually or sequentially.
>    They represent isolated analysis that is written outside the cluster.
> 

I think separate is to vague here--how is it that they are separate?
What is it that makes them different?  You introduce the idea of
Detailed location grapheme by saying it is different from writing
graphemes, but you haven't defined either of these things yet.  If
the definition is "isolated analysis ... written outside the
cluster" I would ask for an example.


>    Punctuation graphemes are used when writing sentences.  They are used
>    individually, outside of a cluster.
> 

Here I finally understand what you mean by cluster.  I happen to
know that vertical space defines the boundary between one cluster
and the next, but if I were newly introduced, I might be scratching
my head.


>    When written by hand, lines are drawn to form each grapheme.
>    Different styles draw different types of lines: either for personal
>    taste, speed, or quality.
> 

There is also the aspect of filling in some shapes too, correct?


>    When written with computers, the graphemes have two aspects.  The
>    first is the line that defines the shape of the grapheme.  The second
>    aspect is the fill that is used when graphemes overlap.  The official
>    standard size and shape for each grapheme is defined with a 2
>    dimensional pixel map of line and fill.  Vector based refinements
>    have been completed for all hand shapes but still need to be converted.
> 

(the vector support will be so exciting for me that I'm going to
have to take a day off just to smile and jump up and down for hours at a
time.)

>    Each grapheme in SignWriting has two centers: absolute and artistic.
>    The absolute center of the grapheme is based on the width and height
>    of the grapheme.  The artistic center of a grapheme is context
>    dependent.  For a hand shape grapheme, the artistic center is the
>    center of the palm.
> 

Why does the center matter?  What purpose does it serve?

> 
> Thanks for reading,
> -Steve
> 

I hope this helps!

-Alan
-- 
.i ko djuno fi le do sevzi



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