[sw-l] LESSONS SignWriting Symbols

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Feb 15 18:47:01 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
February 15, 2005

Tini Pel wrote:
> Now my question about readers point of view and signers point of
> view;.When
> is a sign read or written from a readers point of view.

I want to thank Stefan for his excellent answer. And to explain to you
all...it is possible that the reason that Tini feels confused is
because Tini learned DanceWriting first, back in the late 1970's. And
in DanceWriting, the reader is sitting in the audience. Stanley the
Stick Figure is dancing on the stage. The dancer on the stage is facing
the reader. DanceWriting is written from that perspective.

Then years later, SignWriting began, and in the beginning, we wrote the
signer facing us, as if on a videotape. That is called the Receptive
view...The reader is still sitting in the audience, and the signer is
performing in front of the reader. There is nothing wrong with
Recpetive view. We still use it today for some rare cases, and we can
still read the Receptive writing of the early 1980's with no problems.

BUT...as more and more Deaf people became skilled in SignWriting, our
Deaf staff members (called the Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting -
the DAC) requested that we switch the way we write. They wanted to
write signs from their own perspective, called the Expressive view. And
they were correct, that it was better for SignWriting to be read and
written as if you are looking at your own hands...So now the Expressive
view is the standard way that we write...

So Tini, as the reader, you are still sitting in your chair watching
the movement, but in the Expressive view, it is as if you are reading
your own hands...almost like sitting behind a signer who is
demonstrating...and you can see through his back and see his hands
moving...so Expressive brings the SignWriting to you, as you experience

And for all of you who are beginners with SignWriting...do not worry
about DanceWriting...Right now you need to learn to read and write
signs from the Expressive point of view, because that is our standard
way of writing...

Val ;-)

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