AW: Mouthings- question for Stefan

Stefan Woehrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Tue Aug 19 20:06:58 UTC 2003

Hi Ingvild; Valerie and listers,

I am very grateful for your question.

Well the point is that there are two different systems that should be kept

I invented a notation for articulation - lessons at school and called it
I think that you referred to these symbols with photos of my son Johannes -
these symbols differentiate between different sounds and each sound is
associated with only one symbol -
The hands that are used derive from the assistance during the early
articulation lessons with little deaf children ...

On the other side - yes in German signlanguage there is a lot of mouthing
and there is no way to identify the written symbols if you neglect this

In order to show these Mundbilder as I call the movements during the
articulation without voice - I defined a symbol set for them.

Contrary to the "Mundbildschrift" wich symbolizes sound-impressions of
spoken language  the Mundbilder in the GebaerdenSchrift stand for facial
expressions of the mouth or lips - that can be associated with the letters
of written German words.
This leads to the problem that some symbols stand for several different

Some problems with this symbol set is not solved yet - but I am on my way to
test some different possibilities. As you can see from the SW documents on
my homepage   I combine a sequence of faces to
enable the reader to identify the spoken word that goes along with the

This method works pretty good and people who know German Signlanguage and
GebaerdenSchrift have less difficulties to study, read and understand the
documents with high speed.

Sometimes I use more or almost all Mundbilder that belong to a mouthing - on
the other hand some other signs like cat, tree, ... are so obvious that I
don ±²  add any ...

On the other hand the more Mundbilder in a single sign the easier is the
task for my deaf students to produce wonderful translations ...

Would love to discuss this whole issue -
I am sure that there are different SL in the world with mouthing aspects and
I bet that the understanding of written documents without the words in
spoken language underneath will become better to read.

Of course different spoken languages include different sounds - therfore we
will get different symbols for Mundbilder - but nevertheless - if would be
great to use  almost the same symbols for similar sounds or mouth-movements
( M  is a line, P, B is a tense symbol, sh is the circle with the arrows to
both sides etc.

I can offer a complete list for the Mundbild-symbols that are defined for
German signlanguage ;-))

Have a great day ;-))

Stefan ;-))

-----Urspr ÿÿ gliche Nachricht-----
Von: SignWriting List [mailto:SW-L at ADMIN.HUMBERC.ON.CA]Im Auftrag von
Ingvild Roald
Gesendet: Montag, 18. August 2003 13:19
Betreff: Mouthings- question for Stefan

Hi Stefan and all,

on your site , you have a diagram of mouthing
symbols used in Germany.

Some of the symbols are compoesed of a face/mouth symbol and a hand symbol
near the mouth.

If these are used to train German spoken language, I can well understand

But as I understand, German Sign Language uses mouthing as part of the
sign language itself, as does Norwegian Sign Language.
How do you write the mouthing when the hands are otherwise occupied???


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