Discussion question/definition MCE

ReBecca abcasl at COX.NET
Mon Feb 23 17:59:06 UTC 2004

Manually Coded English or MCE refers to coding systems that attempt to
represent English visually. There are several forms of MCE systems. Signed
Essential English (SEE), Seeing Essential English 2 (SEE 2), and Linguistics
of Visual English (LOVE) are but a few. These signed systems may borrow
signs from ASL and use them in an English-like signing system. Some of these
systems invent new sign symbols to represent English words and their
suffixes such as ed, ing, ful, or ness. These inventions are often not
conceptually understandable to Deaf people because facial expression and
body movement is not used to indicate grammatical functions in these

-----Original Message-----
From: SignWriting List [mailto:SW-L at ADMIN.HUMBERC.ON.CA]On Behalf Of
Valerie Sutton
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2004 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: Discussion question

SignWriting List
February 23, 2004

Dear SW List, and ReBecca!
Thanks for your question...You are doing great...This is a hard
subject, since most ASL signers have never thought of ASL as a written
language before...

ReBecca asked:
> "Do you see a parallel between this development of SignWriting and the
> difference between how English and ASL vs. Manually Coded Forms of
> English
> came to be?"

No. There is no parallel....

1. Manually coded forms of English  "change ASL"  to be something
different...It changes the ASL grammar to English grammar, I believe...

2. SignWriting does not change ASL. It just writes what it sees.
SignWriting writes any body movement. Like a video camera. A video of
ASL does not change ASL grammar. Videos can capture ASL just as it is
signed. That is what SignWriting does too, except it is with a pen and
paper, and not a video camera.

3. Video cameras can also record Manually-Coded English. SignWriting
can too, since it records any body movement. It is up to the writer,
what signed language they choose to write.

4. SignWriting can be compared to the development of the Roman
Alphabet, which writes many spoken languages, including English. The
SignWriting symbols can be used to write any signed language in the
world, because it is based on writing the body. People in different
countries sign differently, and SignWriting can write it all.

I hope this helps!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

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