Will SignWriting ever become ...

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Jan 8 20:38:53 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
January 8, 2004

Bill Reese wrote:
> A few years ago, when I first joined the list, Wayne and I compared
> Signwriting to oriental languages - particularly Japanese - since they
> use characters to write with.  That's always been at the back of my
> mind
> and, in the same way as what happened with Japanese, I wonder if
> Signwriting would also evolve from the pictorial form..........

Dear SW List, and Bill!
Thank you for your interesting message, Bill...And your Japanese-like
writing is fun to look at! Although it loses the visual purpose of
SignWriting...namely it doesn't really look like the signs any
longer...who is to say what the future holds? I think it will evolve
naturally...as you said....as all written forms for languages do in

In this generation (smile), SignWriting Handwriting looks like
SignWriting Printing, except it is written by hand instead of typed by
computer. I know Stefan has been developing lessons on how to write by
hand...I am grateful that people are devoting time to documenting how
they write by hand, because there are many people who do it daily.
SignWriting is probably used more by hand, than typed by computer,
around the world...

Our SignWriting Shorthand is more abstract and is a little more like
what you suggest...But it was not developed for daily use, but more for
quick notetaking, that only the writer could really read, and then they
would trascribe into real SignWriting for other people to read... We
actually had notetakers in classrooms in the 1980s, who transcribed the
signing of interpreters, for Deaf students in the class, and then gave
the student the SignWriting of what was signed in class...and the
experiment worked amazingly well...smile....Please see the attached:

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