Sydney conference! HELP!!!!!!

Antony Daamen adaamen at OPTUSNET.COM.AU
Thu Mar 27 06:35:18 UTC 2003


Hi Charles,

thank you very much!! :)

I have printed this out and will show you the end result!


-------Original Message-------
From: SignWriting List
Date: Thursday, 27 March 2003 08:35:21 AM
Subject: Re: Sydney conference! HELP!!!!!!
 Antony Daamen <adaamen at OPTUSNET.COM.AU> wrote: 
Here you go Antony.  I'm a professional technical writer, this should help
you in at least an outline form.  I have studied American Sign Language,
English, Brazilian Sign Language, and Portuguese, and Sign Writing has
helped me in all of them.  Several pilot projects in Brazil are showing
great progress.  
Charles R. Butler, III, B.A. Latin American Studies, University of Michigan,
Member of Sign Net Project, Catholic University of Pelotas, RG, Brazil,
Co-author, with Marianne Stumpf, of bilingual dictionary in Portuguese &
Brazilian sign language.  One of several editors of her translation of Sign
Writing for Everyday Use into Portuguese and Libras (Brazilian Sign
Your project sounds fascinating, I wish you luck in your presentations. 
Charles Butler 
benefits to QDS: (help!)
Imagine being able to write your own thoughts in your own language. 
Regardless of the primary language of one's country, if one's native
language is not the language of commerce, one often misses being able to
communicate one's own thoughts on paper to those not present.  Whether that
language be English, Tagalog, or Australian Sign Language, each language has
its own history, philosophy, and thought process.  Queensland Deaf Society
has the opportunity to grow into a new form of literacy, as in thoughts on
paper, written in Australian Sign Language.  While "sign language literacy"
has often concentrated on being able to comprehend many different forms of
signing (poetry, storytelling, conversation), what happens if the videotape
doesn't work, or the person is not present.  With a written form of the
language, history can be preserved for coming generations, even without
short history of writing hearing languages.
Spoken languages have been written since approximately 3,000 BCE, if one
dates from Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform, and the beginnings of
Chinese characters.  Each language chose a different way to approach "spoken
language".  Egyptian heiroglyphs were a "rebus" .  The Aleph (which became
the Roman letter A) was originally a picture of an ox "alef", whose first
sound is that of "a".  Cuneiform was a true alphabet, with clusters of
wedges representing specific sounds.  Chinese characters are whole words,
not individual sounded out letters.  Each language, however, created a
civilization using that writing form.  Chinese characters write more than 15
different (and mutually unintelligible) languages in China, all of whom read
the same characters, though they pronounce them differently.  The Egyptian
heiroglyphs merged with Phoenician to become the Greek, Roman, Ethiopian,
Runic, and Russian alphabets, all of which are based on individual "letters"
which reproduce single "sounds" in the language.  The civilizations grew
because they were able to write down the records of the day in recorded
speech for those not physically present.  Newspapers, and even this email,
are based on that concept. 
then introduce signwriting
Now imagine a language that hasn't had a written form, yet is used by
thousands of people.  The language, however, isn't spoken by anyone, but
signed.  How can one write such a language?  One needs an "alphabet of
movement" to be able to record not only the languages of sign but of dance,
mime, and other forms of communication that are based on body movement, not
history of signwriting
Sign Writing began with Dance Writing, an invention of Valerie Sutton in
1975, created to record the Danish ballet, before the choreography of aging
dancers was lost forever.  While other linguists have created various forms
of writing particular signed languages, Sign Writing's advantage is that it
can write all signed languages, making it an "international phonetic
alphabet" for signed languages.  It has been used in more than 20 countries,
in educational projects primarily, and with good results.
benefits of signwriting
Sign Writing has all the benefits of any other written language.  It can
write a person's thoughts in their native signed language without
translation into a spoken language.  It can record changes in signs over
years.  Since 1975 there have been changes in various signed languages, and
with a recording system, one can show both old signs, and new variants as
the burgeoning Deaf community creates them.  
One exciting advantage is that it often opens up a Deaf person's mind to the
world of literature.  Once they recognize that "marks on paper" can record
movement, it is much easier for them to understand that "marks on paper" can
record spoken languages, and that they don't have to hear to read spoken
languages.  Literacy in spoken languages is improved, and concepts can truly
be explained comparing their native signed language to the primary spoken
language in their environment, using examples in both languages.
Sign Writing enables teachers to write down the vocabulary set of their Deaf
students, discovering whether they are learning-disabled, or simply can't
hear.  With an unambiguous recording method, a teacher can list words and
concepts that are currently in a child's vocabulary, just as they would with
a hearing child.  Just because the concept is not known in English does not
mean the concept is unknown to the child, just in a different language.
FAQ's and their  answers: 
    does it impede on learning hte host language (i.e. English)
Far from impeding learning spoken language, Sign Writing can enhance the
process, by enabling understanding in both directions.  Deaf and Hearing
persons can communicate freely across a linguistic barrier, ensuring that
what is being communicated is real.  Current studies in English-speaking
schools have shown excited school children happy to learn many "languages on
paper".  Their comprehension is improved.  
    more FAQs? 
Please be quick, so I can start......

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