Facial expressions

Honza honza at RUCE.CZ
Fri Dec 7 08:00:12 UTC 2012

Dear Valerie,

this animation is not my work. I took it from Cross-Linguistic Guide to
SignWriting (
Since I found this guide I use it often on this illustrations. I am also
interested if it is possible to make more animations.

I understand, that facial expressions symbols can be used differently, but
I think there must be something similar, that can be expressed on the
picture. Symbols differs and it is not easy to imagine in what way should
each symbol been used. (or I should try to read descriptions again..)


On 7 December 2012 06:05, Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com> wrote:

> SignWriting List
> December 6, 2012
> Hi Honza -
> I notice your illustration is taken from animation? Can you use your
> animation to show a picture of each facial expression in SignWriting? I
> would love to use that animation program to create the still photo for each
> facial expression in SignWriting. How does one get access to that
> animation, and is it free to use?
> We have tried photos in the past and they were never good enough because
> the human face differs so much. You see, a lot of writing of facial
> expressions comes from how it "feels" to the signer - not just how it looks
> to the observer - and so "dreamy eyebrows" is oftentimes used when a person
> is telling a story - they are imagining a fairy tale or whatever - like
> "once upon a time, long long ago" and their eyebrows get that "dreamy"
> look…but it is really a "dreamy feeling on the face" that the signer
> "feels"…
> So we had some frustrations with showing facial expressions through
> photos, but meanwhile there are definite facial expressions used in
> storytelling and so forth, in sign languages, and they differ from language
> to language too…so these do need to be defined and illustrated no doubt -
> it has never been done yet though - people use the Facial Expression
> symbols differently around the world - I am delighted they are so useful
> and have really helped in writing the different sign languages, documented
> or not… and I am delighted that they have provided Stefan Woehrmann the
> foundation for his development of SpeechWriting too...
> A good research project would be to illustrate and document the usage of
> the SignWriting Facial Expression symbols around the world - they are used
> frequently and are very important symbols -
> Thank you for bringing this topic up...
> Val ;-)
> ------
> On Dec 5, 2012, at 3:01 AM, Honza wrote:
> Hi Valerie and Stefan,
> Stefan - I use your "Mundbilder" (but only for part of words). We are not
> sure if it is necessary or not to write whole words, so we write just few
> letters of each word.
> Thank you Val, yes I know there are many explanations, but it is not exact.
> Best are pictures. I found some in Cross-linguistic Guide, but there are
> only some - especially there are only 3-4 eyebrow patters.
> thanks
> Honza
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