Typing in SignWriting
sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Mar 31 18:34:24 UTC 2004
March 31, 2004
Stephen Slevinski wrote:
> SignWriting is superior to the alphabet for capturing language detail
> transcription. If you tell 10 people to sign "I love you", each using
> different emotion, and faithfully transcribe what they sign, each
> SignWriting will be different: the facial expression, the exact hand
> placement, and other details. If you capture 10 people saying "I love
> each spelling would be the same, and anything not the same is a
Dear SW List, and Stephen -
Yes. In the spoken language world, the above description is like
comparing the International Phonetic Alphabet to the standardized
spellings and standardized alphabet called the Roman Alphabet. It is
simply the difference between writing every detail and nuance, or
creating a standardized spelling system.
In the SignWriting world, right now, we are working with only a few
standardized SignSpellings. But our pioneering work in the SignBank
Editor program is making it possible to standardize SignSpellings now.
That is why, without my work with SignSpellings, you will not be able
to place signs in SSS in a dictionary...because to list signs in the
order of the SSS, you have to have a SignSpelling to tell you what
symbol starts the sign, what symbol comes second in the sign, and so
forth. So sorting and printing dictionaries by SSS has two steps...the
SignSpellings and then the sequence of those signs in a dictionary.
So anyway, I am making those listings of SignSpellings for you, and
placing them in a big document.
The question is....Will spelling standardization destroy the
flexibility and beauty of writing the nuances of signed languages?
No...not if we also keep the IMWA...the International MovementWriting
Alphabet...which is a the flexible SignWriting...so if we have both a
standard spelling system, plus a flexible system...people can choose
until this all becomes a part of history that everyone will take for
granted in a generation or two!
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