how to signwrite scorpion - here : reading and writing in foreign SL

Stefan Woehrmann2 stefanwoehrmann at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 8 17:01:00 UTC 2002

Hello Tini and friens,

I have been away for a week with my class. We spent some days in a school
camp and I learned a lot !!! ha -

First of all thank you very much for your response to my SW- document. It is
always nice to get feedback ;-))

Second: Your answer makes me feel curious - hm - of course my knowledge of
ASL is pretty poor - nevertheless I tried to collected some ASL - signs
following the spelling in the 001 dictionary and tried to express my ideas.

It would become pretty interesting to find out the reasons that it is almost
impossible to read the SW document fluently without too much trouble

Unfortunately there are no other responses - would be great if the one or
other listmember could try to write a short comment ;-)

Reading is kind of construction work - well Ilka you should be able to
explain the processes that are included much better in more detail - ha -

nevertheless - if I get a SW document with lots of spelling-mistakes - but
written in signed German or DGS - it is interesting to realize that I find
my way to understand the meaning.

Same with German - if there are foreign people speaking with accent, false
grammar, false vocabularies - often no problem to develop hypotheses about
his /her  idea ...

In Germany I changed my style of writing GebaerdenSchrift a lot. In the
beginning we used not too many facial expressions  - especially
mouth-gestures that indicate special articulation movements.

Reading documents that have been written a long time ago has been pretty
difficult. I learned from my video-transcription work that  most deaf people
in Germany use movements of the mouth as if articulating the German words
that are connected to the sign ...

So I defined a set a mouthgestures as indicators for special articulation
movements ("A, O,U, S, I, M, SCH, ae, L..)
which ended up with a development of a new writing-system "Mundbildschrift"
which turns out to become a fascinating support for deaf students to expand
their vocabulary.


Looking at the ASL  spellings there are very seldom mouthgestures like
these. One reason may be that ASL does not include as much mouthgesture as
DGS - mmh -
Another reason may be that contrary to DGS ASL has a more sophisticated and
elaborated sign-system so that not too many terms of the spoken language are
covered by one sign ????
Obviously and naturally you cannot exspect anybody to write this kind of
facial expressions if you are not familiar with the words of the spoken
langauge that goes along with the signed language -

(this may become an interesting aspect of SW because this may become a
reason to discuss the viewpoint of an international movement writing system
if it comes down to describe mouthmovements - at least we do learn from this
that writing and reading facial expressions will take some time and special

Hi Tini - it has been so kind of you to offer your first translation.

I am very interested to find out more about this phenomenon that the
document is so difficult to understand.

Months ago - in February I posted another document - "Happy birthday to
Valerie"  which seemed to cause less problems - right Valerie ??

So thanks for your attention and it would be fun to learn from this if
others would share their ideas and experiences. I attached the first part of
the SW-document once more .

We already discussed to write original SW messages - thus this is kind of
attempt to start a discussion about the problems to understand SW without
adding the spoken language translation -

And yes - you are right - following the advice from James Kegl I underline
all the sign names (in this case : Germany, Malta and Stefan ;-))
But it is not an "arm line" - ha - it is simply a line that of course can be
used as an arm line for stickfigures or as an leg line - or ... in this case
it is a "sign name indicator line" ;-))

Thanks a lot for your attention

Stefan ;-))

----- Original Message -----
From: "Henk Pel" <hpel at ONLINK.NET>
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: how to signwrite scorpion

> Hello Stefan and friends,
> I have a few questions re: your attachment. I have not been able to
> it into the DOS program so I have to try to make myself clear this way.
> I will translate what you have written in SW.
> Line 1-" Hello from Sign name..." Now under the sign name you wrote an arm
> line horizontal.
>             Why?
> Line 2-" I try a little sign writing"
> Line 3- "Here???" (next)????........There is a saying here" Cross my heart
> and hope to die"
>             But I am sure that is not it ..There is that line underneath,
> that a sign name?" sign
>             Quote."
> Line 4- "Scorpion. Future picture show"
> Line 5- "L."" signer, but all"
> Line 6- "Sign writing for R." School????(With the L. hand)" signer"
> Line 7- "bye "...????? (And there is that line again) "Stefan."
> I may not be correct in the translation, but I might be close.
> Note: The first two signs of scorpion are very clear to me. #1 touches the
> centre of the head with the thumb and the #2 with the hand.
> II hope you can make sense out of this. L.I.F.E.
> Tini.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SignWriting List [mailto:SW-L at ADMIN.HUMBERC.ON.CA]On Behalf Of
> Woehrmann2
> Sent: May 31, 2002 3:53 PM
> Subject: Re: how to signwrite scorpion
> Hello friends,
> have a look at the attached SW - comment -
> can you read it ?
> All the best -  L.I.F.E
> Stefan ;-)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Maria Azzopardi" <maria.azzopardi at UM.EDU.MT>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 3:16 PM
> Subject: how to signwrite scorpion
> > Hello Valerie and list,
> >
> > My name is Karl. I am a deaf colleague working with Marie and Maria on
> > the Maltese sign language dictionary. I have a problem to signwrite the
> > part of signing of "scorpion". I am attaching the file of this part of
> > the sign. The sign is at the back of head but how do you indicate this
> > using signwriting, and also the two fingers come in contact with each
> > other.
> >
> > Thankyou
> >
> > From Karl Borg  :)
> > (This is second time I sent this email because I don't know whether the
> > first one was successful)
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
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