hoerah!! /mouth patterns

Stefan Woehrmann2 stefanwoehrmann at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 24 23:29:41 UTC 2002

Hello Maria and friends , 

well - as I mentioned several times ago  - I created a set of mouth-patterns that go along with mouthing while the person is signing. 

In fact I invented a completely new system - called "Mundbildschrift" but this is different from what is needed for transcribing SL . Nevertheless there is a link between both systems- 

The mouthpatterns of the Mundbildschrift allow DEAF children to develop kind of phonetic associations of spoken words - (!!!! ) They get familiar with these symbols during our articulation process and it is amazing that already very young children (3 years old) seem to be able to understand the idea of reading and writing "soundproduction" that may lead to sensefull comunication ... Every mouthpattern stands for a individual vocal - sound-production  - 
You will finde lots of examples on my homepage www.gebaerdenschrift.de  
This way my little Deaf students are able to read Endlish, Turkish or even Russian words and sentences - it is fun - but behind the whole idea is a serious interest to support them in developing a huge amount of new German words within a reasonable time ... We are still suffering from a lack of communication during the first six years of their lives

The discussion about the difficulties and problems with lipreading shows that there are too many problems involved .. 
My symbol set for mouthpatterns concentrates on what you can see - or rather exspect if you know about the German words that go along with the signing 
Therefore you cannot distinguish between B or P  and F and W  and so forth.. 

This is the reason that a transcription from a foreigner who is not familiar with spoken German  would  have a hard time to write SW documents that could be understood from German readers ;-(((( 
I did not know that unless I worked very intense with my 9th grade students - We read GebaerdenSchrift-documents on a daily basis. 

I guess that I am still the only one around who exspects his students to be able to translate long texts - up to 20 pages into spoken German Language . I wrote most of these texts in signed German and we use SW (GebaerdenSchrift) in order to create bilingual materials in order to improve literacy -- 

>>From my point of view it would be easy to understand a lot of single written signs without any facial expressions - but within long documents, transcriptions of interviews or storytelling - there is no chance to understand the exact terms if you would not add typical mouthpatterns that stand for typical articulatory movements --which are performed by the signer himself ... 

Of course I would be able to write complete mouthing patterns - but that is not necessary - In most cases it is enough to just pick one out of the whole pattern - with the support of this facial expression you can read the SW-documents fluently at high speed. I prefer to rather repeat the facial expressions instead of using any additional lines or brackets .... 

I am still interested to learn to write a couple of typical mouthgestures that are not connected with spoken language- and who knows - once the gigantic SignBank project is done we will get the chance to return to spelling issues . 

I am very very busy to create lots of teaching materials for the coming GebaerdenSchrift-workshops , University presentations  and for my wonderfull students - 

attached - students 7/8 years old writing "Mundbilder " at th blackboard - 
All the very best 

Stefan ;-))

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maria Azzopardi 
  Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 8:55 AM
  Subject: Re: hoerah!! /mouth patterns

  Dear Valerie, 
  It was good to hear from you. I'm so glad you are feeling better now :)) 
  I'm sorry I haven't been in contact much with the list.... :O( I have however been reading all the messages that come in, and I remember the very interesting discussion about mouth-patterns in European sign languages. I had been meaning to add that mouth-patterns occur frequently in Maltese Sign Language.  In fact when transcribing the data for my dissertation (using signwriting) I didn't know how to transcribe mouth-patterns (which were mainly mouth patterns derived from the spoken language) using signwriting. What I did was write the words in a seperate column next to the signwriting.  This worked well when analysing the spoken component of Maltese Sign Language.  However it would be great to find a way of transcribing these mouth-patterns using signwriting, because in doing so the mouth-patterns would truly appear to be an integral part of the signing (although how could you show mouth-patterns of more than 1 syllable??) 

  Hope you all have a great summer (just hope it's not as hot where you are as it is here- mamma mia  :)) 

    And last, regarding the mouthing and mouth gestures needed in writing 
    the northern European signed languages, such as German Sign Language, 
    Swiss-German Sign Language, and possibly Norwegian Sign Language...I 
    would like to suggest that Ingvild, Siv and Stefan communicate with 
    each other on possible solutions. Stefan has already developed a lot 
    of mouth movements written in SignWriting, based on the German spoken 
    language. And I know Siv wants to add more....so I hope you will 
    write to each other and try to work out some of the 
    questions....Meanwhile, I am writing a report on writing detailed 
    facial expressions. I hope to have that ready in the next couple of 
    weeks. It will be included in the SignWriting Instruction Database in 
    SignBank in September.

  about mouth-patterns 

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