FINLAND Survey on SignWriting

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Aug 12 18:14:19 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
August 12, 2005

THANK YOU, Niina, for your abstract. It is now posted on the web.  
Take a look...I have updated the Finland web page:

SignWriting in Finland

I hope others from Finland will inform us of what is happening in  
Finland too...I am happy to post information for you. For example,  
your full paper, Niina, written in Finnish (no English translation  
necessary if you do not have time) can be posted and I can link  
people to the full document in PDF format...for those from Finland  
who would like to read it online...Just a thought!

There is no contact for a person from Finland on the web page at the  

Val ;-)


On Aug 12, 2005, at 10:38 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SgnWriting List
> August 12, 2005
> On Aug 11, 2005, ninuccia at wrote:
>> Now I send the abstract to you and you can post it in the
>> internet if you want ... With hug, Niina from Finland :)
> -----------------------
> Rissanen Niina
> Writing Sign Language: A Survey of Emergent Sign Language Literacy  
> in the Deaf Community
> Autumn 2003
> 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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