email lessons

Ingvild Roald iroald at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 21 21:47:16 UTC 2005

Yes, this is mouthing. The Euroean sign languages tend to use mouthing when 
they loan (import) from the majority spoken languages - and at least in NTS 
(Nowegian SL), fingerspelling is not used much. In ASl, as I understand it, 
fingerspelling is the preffered mode of loaning from English. We may use 
mouthing also in signs that are not loans, then the mouthing will look like 
no real Norwegian word, or at least not the word that would be a translation 
for the sign. These mouthings are still not the spesific facial expressions 
used as adverbials or adjectives or the like in the true NTS, they are 
'invented loans' or something like that (this means that you can find this 
mouthing only with this sign, not used more generally). There has been a 
master thesis done on the spesific facial expressions of NTS, and also on 
some of the 'invented loans'. I think in NISL these things would be called 
multi-modal signs.


>From: "Valerie Sutton" <sutton at>
>Reply-To: sw-l at
>To: sw-l at
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] email lessons
>Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 14:34:34 -0700
>SignWriting List
>August 21, 2005
>Ingvild Roald wrote:
>>I read the mouths of the sign as 'email' - without consulting  Stefan's 
>>book, so I might very well be wrong
>>On Aug 21, 2005, at 1:41 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
>>>Perfect ! Juchuuu -- congrats - Ingvild!!
>Hello Stefan and Ingvild!
>I am finally starting to grasp what is happening here between our  
>different signed languages and cultures ...Mundbilder must be what we  call 
>I did not read the attached sign as EMAIL, but now that you told me  it 
>says that, I am starting to learn your writing of 
>course that is an English word though...not so  sure about the German 
>Mouthing smile...
>Mouthing, in my terminology, means saying the word silently while  signing 
>silently...which is not what I mean when I am talking about  the natural 
>facial expressions of true ASL...that is different yet  again...that is 
>what Kevin did in One Harbor. Kevin rarely does  Mouthing because he 
>doesn't seem to think in English, although he  does Mouth a little when 
>teaching hearing people...
>And Lucinda, who is native to ASL but lives with hearing people, will  
>Mouth to me, and turn to Kevin and turn off the  turning 
>off a faucet! She Mouthed a great deal on the Lessons in SW  video series, 
>and got criticized for it by other ASL in  our culture 
>Mouthing is done, but not necessarily considered really  good ASL...
>or am I wrong? Can someone who is skilled in ASL tell me if I am  right or 
>wrong? Cultures change fast and the issue of Lucinda's  mouthing on that 
>video series was an issue in the mid-1990s...
>Can you see why I am sooo happy that you are writing the email in  your own 
>German signs, Stefan? I am learning about your language, and  some of the 
>issues of writing it...And I look forward to studying  more email from 
>different countries!
>No more writing to me in ASL, which is not my language...I live in  the 
>world of international thinking...Val ;-)
>PS. Here is what the terminology is, I believe:
>1.GebaerdenSchrift means SignWriting.
>2. Mundbilder means Mouthing.
>3. Facial Expressions and ASL Mouth Movements that do not have any  
>connection with English words also occur in ASL, but they are not  
>4. Mundbildschrift is a way to read the movements of the mouth while  
>speaking a spoken language.

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