The graphemes of SignWriting

Alan Post alanpost at SUNFLOWERRIVER.ORG
Thu Oct 7 16:20:21 UTC 2010


That is a phrase in the language Lojban.[1]  I'm working on a project
in Lojban called "lo do ckiku ma zvati"[2], which is Lojban for
"Where are your Keys?"[3]  {lo do ckiku ma zvati} uses SignWriting
to document elements of the game.[4]

The phrase {.i ko djuno fi le do sevzi} has the gloss:

.i ko                djuno  fi              le  do    sevzi
   you (imperative)  know   the subject of      your  ego

Translated into English it becomes: "know thyself."

-Alan

1: http://lojban.org/
2: http://lodockikumazvati.org/
3: http://whereareyourkeys.org/
4: http://lodockikumazvati.org/tadji/lo_valsi_porsi/

On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 05:56:15PM +0200, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> Hi Alan
> 
> What ist his? Can you explain ...?
> 
> i ko djuno fi le do sevzi
> 
> 
> Stefan ;-)
> 
> 
> 
> -----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
> 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
> 

-- 
.i ko djuno fi le do sevzi



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