Advantages of ASL GLoss for SignWriting

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Mar 28 18:26:44 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 28, 2004

Stephen Slevinski wrote:
> I'm assuming that writing ASL Gloss is quicker.  But I'm also assuming
> that
> reading SignWriting is easier.  I know the second because I often sign
> when
> using the TTY.  I can not read ASL Gloss and understand very well.

You have just given us a great compliment...I am happy that SignWriting
is easier to read...If nothing more, that is a step forward for the

For you, perhaps typing English words in ASL grammar stucture (ASL
gloss) is easier because you know ASL gloss, but for me it is much
harder, because I do not understand the ASL gloss techniques. I still
to this moment do not understand why the sign for ME cannot become the
sign for the English word "I" in some instances...Every sign has many
equivalent words in that sign has two: ME and I....why
does ASL gloss require ME, when both ME and I are correct, depending on
the sentence?

I think people enjoy using ME for everything because it makes it sound
different than English...but SignWriting certainly differentiates
written ASL from written English, without creating wrong grammar in one
language, to suit the other...

So your dictionary, Stephen, could have the sign for ME also be under
the sign for "I"...and then when a person searches for HELP: I help
you....they could still get the right ASL...whether it is ME help you
or I help would be the same sign...

> While ASL Glossing may loose something in the translation, is it
> adequate
> enough?  Because written English is not the same as an oral
> presentation,
> yet written English is adequate.

Written English is writing the sounds of English directly on paper.
Written English is NOT using Danish words in English grammar order!
Using English words to gloss ASL is not writing ASL. it is writing
grammar without writing the signs visually as they are ASL
glosses is not writing ASL...It is a bridge between two languages,
without really being the written language for ASL...SignWriting is
becoming the written from for 27 signed languages at the moment...that
I know of!  Val ;-)

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