Advantages of ASL GLoss for SignWriting

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Mar 28 18:31:20 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 28, 2004

And your thoughts are greatly appreciated, Stephen. I know your idea of
programming with ASL gloss has accomplished one thing that is quite
important...For now we have a way to do some translation from English
typing to SignWriting, with your translation program, and I think that
is an important first step towards a good translation program...Someday
we need to get it out of ASL glosses and into full English sentences
being translated into good ASL...but for now this is a great for
us...and also the vertical columns are best for ASL literacy...I have
shown that people read ASL better in vertical columns and I hope that
your sign-definitions could be in vertical columns too, like ours in
SignBank... -  Val ;-)


On Mar 28, 2004, at 12:45 PM, Stephen Slevinski wrote:

> 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
> today.
> Of course grammar changes would be more complicated, but I'm thinking
> out
> loud.
> -Stephen
> -----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
> perspective...
> 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
> services...
> 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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