Vcom3D's SigningAvatars and SignWriting?

Angus B. Grieve-Smith grvsmth at UNM.EDU
Sat Jun 21 15:17:09 UTC 2003

        I've never heard of anyone trying to make a link between VCom3D's
software and SignWriting.  Such a link would be valuable, because it would
correct a fundamental dishonesty in their marketing: they claim that their
software "signs," without specifying that it doesn't sign ASL, but rather
Signed English.

        VCom3d consistently avoids mentioning that Signed English isn't
much more useful than written English for the majority of Deaf students in
the US, and that to produce ASL, most of their products would require a
machine translation component more sophisticated than anything that exists

        If they used SignWriting, they would be able to produce real ASL,
which would be much more useful.  On the other hand, if you've got the
SignWriting, why do you need the animation?

        I make a more detailed argument along these lines in my paper from
the Gesture Workshop, which can be downloaded from

        I won't be going to the symposium, but here's a link to its
website: <>.

                                        -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
                                        Linguistics Department
                                        University of New Mexico
                                        grvsmth at
                                        grvsmth at

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