SW materials/Val

Valerie Sutton Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Sep 29 15:23:00 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
September 29, 2003

Nitsu Pikkupyora from Finland wrote:
> .....I guess I just need to say in my thesis that there are "several 
> publications from this-and-this-and-this country but nobody really 
> knows how much there is altogether"... In a way it's a pitty, it would 
> have been nice to say that "from Nicaraqua there is 50, spain 40, ASL 
> 150, swiss-german 30...." But I guess I'll have to live with this :) 
> But already knowing about the dictionaries etc is helpful, at least I 
> can mention them, and the computer softwares I can get from 
> SW-website. So I have SOMETHING to tell...Niina:)

Dear SW List members, and Niina:
I understand your dilemma, but actually this proves, in a strange way, 
that SignWriting is truly a written form for a series of 
languages...because it is used so much on a daily basis, in certain 
groups around the world, that there is no way that I have any control 
over it...How can I list ALL their publications on the web, if I am not 
there working personally with each group in 27 countries?...We are 
trying to list things...that is one of my goals, but let's pose this 

How many publications are there, in the world, written in the spoken 
language of Finland (Finnish)?

If you had to answer that question, how would you go about such a broad 
answer? You could consult with libararians around the world, because 
there are Finnish publications around the world, but the chances of you 
ever getting a "number" with any accuracy is slight...Meanwhile, we all 
know there are plenty - ha!

Here in the US we have a little phrase for all this....it is "lying 
with statistics"...the phrase means that we try so hard to come up with 
numbers on "how many Deaf?" or "how many this or that", and the truth 
is, no estimated number can be correct under such broad questions...So 
the main point is to explain that SignWriting is used daily around the 
world and there is not an accurate count, since Valerie's web sites are 
only a small fraction of what is happening worldwide...

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

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Read & Write Sign Languages

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