Advantages of ASL GLoss for SignWriting

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Mar 28 18:17:29 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 28, 2004

Dear SW List, and Stephen!
Thanks for these questions...

> How many signs per minute can a native signer type using SignWriter.
> What
> is the curve for learning SignWriter and what speeds are possible?

Richard Gleaves, the designer of the software SignWriter DOS,
collaborated with me, starting in 1986, and our collaboration created a
unique and very different kind of typing system, which is built into
SignWriter DOS. And because we designed it, and we knew what it can do,
I can say that I personally, and a handful of others, can type in
SignWriter DOS close to the speed of typing slowly in English...and I
believe, with a few design changes, we could make the experience faster

The keystrokes for typing SignWriting are very interesting and I bet if
any of you could come to my home in La Jolla, California, and take a
SignWriter typing skills class with me, you too would become faster at
typing SignWriting directly.

The problem has been, that I have never held such workshops, and of
course I should. Stefan Woehrmann, in Germany, has taught workshops on
the SignWriter Computer Program for several years now, and I am not
sure what techniques of typing skills are included in those courses,
because some people become sadly dependent on the pasting from the
dictionary feature, which then lets them be a little lazy. They can
paste a sign in from the dictionary and simply change it a little to
match another sign and then they don't actually develop typing skills
for speed.

So I was thinking of holding some SignWriter Speed Typing workshops in
my home here...anyone interested?

As far as testing SignWriter typing for speed versus English, I think
we need to hold some courses in typing skills first, but then later
such testing for speed could be done...

But speed is not really the point...The point is that there is now a
way to type directly in the movements of signed languages, and English
glosses used to show ASL grammar structure does not give the Deaf child
the same experience as typing directly in a language...

Val ;-)

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