SignBank spelling order

Valerie Sutton Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Oct 18 21:14:51 UTC 2002

SignWriting List
October 18, 2001

Ingvild Roald wrote:
>It seems that signs in themselves are best described as one segment each. In
>spoken language, you take the first sound and then the second, and so on,
>in a multisegmental way. Even if time plays a part in Sign production, it
>is the whole sign that is the sign....

Hello Ingvild, and thank you for this comment...Yes. SignWriting does write signs in "visual units"...and Sign-Spellings are not as "obviously" sequential as spoken language words are...(when writing with the Roman alphabet that is...).

However, having said that, there are ways to spell sequentially in SignWriting. There is a simple sequential way, and there are more complicated ways...For the sake of the SW List members new to this issue, let me share a few more American signs, and then I will take your three signs from Norway....

In the attached diagram, you can see the issue of "sequential sign spelling". Based on the idea that we "spell" a sign, in the sequence of what happens first, second, third...then it would make sense to spell this second sign for "hello", as: (1)Handshape, (2)Location relating to the rim of the head, (3)Movement:
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