Typing in SignWriting

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Mar 31 23:07:08 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 31, 2004

Charles - You deserve a better computer. Maybe we can get one donated 
to you from your local area. Where do you live, and what kind of a 
computer do you have right now...? Give me the exact model name, and 
the operating system...Are you running Windows? What version? How much 
internal memory do you have? Please answer this to the List, and tell 
me what large city you are near? You may be surprised that computers 
are available to people, if you energetically pursue a donation from a 
computer company that can't sell their old ones...Val ;-)


On Mar 31, 2004, at 2:59 PM, Charles Butler wrote:

> Valerie, I think the SSS with its spelling conventions will really 
> help to get sign writing standardized.  It will take a long time and 
> experimentation, but we've done this in 25 years, imagine the next 25.
> My manually sorting the Libras dictionary, starting with the hands, as 
> slowly as I did it gave me an appreciation for your program.   
> We're working together, I just wish I had the computer to dedicate to 
> this time, and a salary to cover it.
> Charles Butler
> Valerie Sutton <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG> wrote:
> SignWriting List
> March 31, 2004
> Stephen Slevinski wrote:
> > SignWriting is superior to the alphabet for capturing language detail
> > during
> > transcription. If you tell 10 people to sign "I love you", each using
> > a
> > 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
> > you",
> > each spelling would be the same, and anything not the same is a
> > spelling
> > error.
> 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!
> Val ;-)

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