Advantages of ASL GLoss for SignWriting

Stephen Slevinski slevin at PUDL.INFO
Sun Mar 28 20:45:12 UTC 2004

Hey Val,

About languages changing over the years...

One neat idea about the translation program includes dialects and date
ranges.  So a gloss would include a dialect and a date range when it was
valid.  So if the dictionary was compete enough, you could ask the
translation feature for a 1917 translation of something that was written

Of course grammar changes would be more complicated, but I'm thinking out


-----Original Message-----
From: SignWriting List [mailto:SW-L at ADMIN.HUMBERC.ON.CA]On Behalf Of
Valerie Sutton
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2004 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: Advantages of ASL GLoss for SignWriting

SignWriting List
March 28, 2004

On Mar 28, 2004, at 9:15 AM, Dando wrote:
> Well, some things might be clearer. So the sign 1917 sign for "dollar"
> (as used by Veditz, I think) involved drawing a coin in the palm of the
> nondominant hand. So substituting the modern sign might be make the
> message more understandable, but I would argue that something important
> is lost in that process. I'm finding this discussion useful, since
> it's forcing me to rethink
> some transcription issues. Cheers, Dan.

Dear SW List and Dan!
Good points. As you all have heard so often, I became fluent in a
second language as an adult...not as a child....and I will never forget
one day, in Denmark, I was invited to a church service in Copenhagen,
and I was already fluent in daily life in Danish...but when I opened
the hymnal...the book with the Danish religious songs that we were
singing in this church service...I was surprised and worried that I
found one Danish passage after the other, in some kind of old Danish,
that I could not understand and I felt was like reading
another language...the modern and old Danish texts were that
different...the words were literally could see where
the modern Danish words stemmed from these old Danish words...but for a
foreigner like myself, this was a big surprise...and the grammar was
different too...

That started me reading different versions of the Bible written in
Danish...I had one in old Danish and one in modern Danish and once
again, the old Danish was like a foreign language from my

But there is one important point here...The old Danish was not thrown
out, but sat side-by-side with the new. No one banned the old Danish,
it simply isn't used very much, except for traditional church

And the same symbols for a, b and c were used to write both the old and
new the pronunciation of the symbols were not an
was just the changing of the language struture that was
fascinating...not only the words themselves, but the grammar structure
changed over the centuries...

So once again, the PUDL program is excellent for what it is trying to
do, but we will also have other dictionary programs, such as SignBank
Databases, and the Belgian program and the dictionaries inside the
SignWriter Computer program, plus new future programs we cannot imagine
at this PUDL does not need to be the source for old
ASL...we can use SignBank or SignWriter for preserving old ASL....

Val ;-)
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