[sw-l] Re: Thesis -- more than anecdotal

James Shepard-Kegl, Esq. kegl at MAINE.RR.COM
Sat Feb 26 14:31:11 UTC 2005


A new idea at first rejected as being worthless, later begrudgingly
acknowledged, and finally accepted as being obviously true.

SW is neither child-like nor simple -- terms I daresay were used to dismiss
signing itself as a language not so many years ago.  SW, however, is
somewhat "transparent" -- since the system uses a visual code to convey a
visually driven language (as opposed to my typing at the moment, which is a
visual code to convey a sound driven language.)

The airplane:  many said machines would never fly, until the Wright brothers
demonstrated that airplanes really could be built.  Seeing is believing.

It makes not a whit of difference to the hundreds of thousands of deaf
children trying to learn to read and write whether linguists prefer one
method of sign notation over another.  It will be critical to these children
if they are able to achieve a higher level of competency in reading and
writing a spoken language by first gaining literacy skills in their native
sign language.

Does SW further this goal?  If yes, what needs to be done?  If not, why not?


-- James

on 2/26/05 9:08 AM, Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa at
shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at francismaginn.org wrote:

> James,
> We do need to develop a publicity or political lobbying group for that -
> another reason why I ll want to do the European conference on SW.
> And there's so much misinformation about the Sutton System out there - there
> are 3 systems out there - the Sutton one, the Stokoe notation system and the
> HamNoSys - my friend, a linguist herself, think the Sutton system is the
> easiest one because it's quite "child-like and simple" YET SHE HAVENT TRIED
> IT HERSELF so she cannot be the expert on that but other linguists who
> ACTUALLY tried the 3 systems said that the Sutton System is more difficult
> to use for people whose first language isn't sign language whereas the
> Stokoe and HamNoSys are designed for people whose first language isn't a
> signed language.
> Right now, many European Sign linguists tend to go for HamNoSys cos it's a
> European thingy - there are some who will go for the Stokoe system - but
> even a smaller group go for it.
> That's why it's important for us to raise the profile of SignWriting - for
> instance the CDS Dublin at www.centrefordeafstudies.com
> Shane
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu [mailto:owner-sw-
>> l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] On Behalf Of James Shepard-Kegl, Esq.
>> Sent: 26 February 2005 13:56
>> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>> Subject: [sw-l] Re: Thesis -- more than anecdotal
>> I believe that if you want to have SW integrated into the Deaf education
>> system on a national or multi-national level, then you will need first to
>> convince theoreticians of some repute that SW serves important educational
>> functions.  This will take more than a review of positive anecdotal
>> experiences.  Rather, a curriculum needs to be designed, then implemented.
>> Next, a statistical study, with control groups and comparative results
>> from
>> traditional programs, must be conducted.  Papers must be presented and
>> ultimately articles published in respected journals.
>> This, alas, takes money (especially the design and implementation parts.)
>> If there is someone who has gone further than I in design and
>> implementation, please identify yourself.  In the meantime, I have quite
>> bankrupted myself in the process -- which is why my attending an SW
>> conference in Europe is unthinkable.
>> -- James

More information about the Sw-l mailing list