Why Sign Writing?

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Aug 18 20:59:05 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
August 18, 2005

On Aug 16, 2005, at 11:01 PM, eyasu tamene wrote:
Dearest Val, all
> I am curius to know new things I think that is way I became  
> interested in SW.  As to my knowledge Hearing impaired people are  
> using the hearing ones. They don't have their own writing system.   
> Haven't you every defended saying what if , if they continue using  
> the existing writing system? What big challenge of the hearing  
> impaired people was resolved as a result of Sign Writing? Weren't  
> they comfortable, is it a question of equality....?  I would be  
> happy if Val of any one in the list become interested in Sign  
> Writing to tell me why you became interested.

Hello Eyasu and Everyone!
Great to see all the answers you have received from other List  
members! From the moment I saw my first Danish Sign Language  
videotape at the University of Copenhagen in 1974, I believed that  
Danish Sign Language, and other Sign Languages, are languages that  
deserve to be preserved and written, as all languages  
deserve...Languages are preserved for future generations, if you read  
and write them. And for those who use the language daily, it gives  
another form of expression without changing their language...only  
enhancing it...But I was pretty much alone in that belief, back in  
1974...including the Sign Language researchers I was working  
with...they were against writing it too..But years later, when I  
returned to Copenhagen, and by that time, SignWriting was being  
used...those same researchers told me in a public speech, that they  
were glad signed languages can now be written languages...so that was  
a good feeling for me...I am glad I didn't give up back then!

So it has been 30 years with controversy at times, but also a great  
feeling of joy and accomplishment too...the controversy is  
healthy...it means people are thinking about social change...it is a  
new way to think...that Sign Languages are written languages  
too...That places written Sign Language literature, on the same shelf  
with written English or Amharic literature or any spoken language  
literature...and that is a new idea for a lot of people...It shifts  
the power so that both Deaf and non-deaf cultures are equal on  
library shelves...

Here are some pages to read...

History of SignWriting

Valerie Sutton homepage

Questions about SignWriting

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

1. SignWritingSite
Read & Write Sign Languages

2. SignBankSite
Sign Language Dictionaries

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/sw-l/attachments/20050818/a8070e80/attachment.html>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list