FINLAND Survey on SignWriting
sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Aug 12 17:38:08 UTC 2005
August 12, 2005
On Aug 11, 2005, ninuccia at turkulainen.com wrote:
> Now I send the abstract to you and you can post it in the
> internet if you want ... With hug, Niina from Finland :)
Writing Sign Language: A Survey of Emergent Sign Language Literacy in
the Deaf Community
72 p. 12 appendices
The Diaconia Polytechnic, Turku Unit
Degree Programme in Sign Language Interpretation
Sign Language Interpreter (210 ECTS credits)
The aim of the present thesis was to survey and present the subject
of emergent Sign Language Literacy. The subject was chosen due to its
significance but also for its novelty, since no previous study on the
subject has been made in Finland.
The thesis is based on the idea that Sign Languages can be written as
any other languages. As an evidence for that, it is referred to the
history of writing spoken languages, the structural features of both
spoken and signed languages as well as the communities that already
use the written form of Sign Language. Special attention is drawn to
the system called SignWriting and its users. On SignWriting, a three-
phased survey was made in which the first phase was accomplished in
the form of a personal interview, the second one was a questionnaire
whereas in the third phase information was gathered via the Internet
and through personal contacts.
The results of the study show that Sign Languages can be and actually
are written languages, even though it is not a widely spread
conception among the Deaf. While writing spoken language is a well-
established way of writing in many Deaf communities, written Sign
Language provides its users with additional, remarkable
possibilities. At present, in many countries the first generation of
the Deaf is becoming literate in their native language, and an
increasing amount of Deaf and Hearing signers are realizing the value
of written Sign Language. On the basis of the survey it is suggested
that Sign Language is not only a language in its own right but it is
also suitable to be used in a written form of communication.
Keywords: Sign Language; writing systems; literacy; reading; writing;
survey; qualitative research.
The study is stored at the Diaconia Polytechnic, Turku Unit.
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