Tiffany Huntley's inquiry

Judy Kegl kegl at MAINE.RR.COM
Wed Feb 19 14:30:09 UTC 2003


You are asking whether SignWriting "is effective or not."  However, you 
have not clarified what you mean by "effective".

1) Effective as a notational system to facilitate linguistic analysis 
of signed languages?

2) Effective as a writing system for Deaf people?  Effective for giving 
Deaf students literacy skills in their first language?

3) Effective as a tool for teaching spoken language literacy to Deaf 

4) Effective as a written system for information dissemination in a 
wide range of areas: gossip, health care, news, philosophical debate, 
theological discussions, amorous correspondence?

As to item 1, you will need to solicit the opinions of linguists who 
either work with the system or who have rejected it as unsuitable for 
their purposes.

As to item 2, I am not familiar with any recent and in-depth formal 
research on the matter.  There is certainly ample primary data at this 
point, however:  works prepared for users, assignments produced by Deaf 
children, instances of correspondence, school exam results, videotapes 
of classes....

As to item 3, you are also stuck with primary data as such programs are 
in their infancy.

As to item 4, again, view the primary material and make your own 

Contact me for further details, if you like:  kegl at

-- James Shepard-Kegl
Bluefields School for Deaf

On Wednesday, February 19, 2003, at 11:48  AM, tiffymouse wrote:

> HI,
>  My name is Tiffany Huntley. I am a graduate student in the Counseling 
> Psychology at Chatham  College. This semester I am taking Statisitcs, 
> part of the class requirement is doing a research paper. I decided 
> that I wanted to do something related to Sign Writing and whether it 
> is effective or not.  However I was  referred to email you guys 
> regarding my paper. I am curious if there are any specific areas you 
> would recommend i research regarding this topic or if you can 
> recommend places where i can get material for this topic.
> Thanks,
> Tiffany Huntley
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