[sw-l] non-deaf people and mouthing

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sun Feb 27 12:28:13 UTC 2005

Hi Stefan!

> I do not have any trouble if somebody prefers a SL-performance without any
> mouthing! But if it comes down to record a given performance it would be
> helpful to accept whatever is peformed ... what do you think?

I think it's an editorial decision depending on what you are trying to
accomplish - whether you're a researcher, grammarian, publisher's editor or

If you're a researcher, presumably you'll want to record everything -
perhaps if the interviewee is chewing gum you'll want to record that too
because it may influence how he produces signs!

If you're a grammarian you may want to simplify to whatever level of reader
you're pitching your grammar at.

If you're an editor producing literary works I think you have to think more
deeply about your readers' needs. I don't necessarily mean translating War
and Peace into BSL! For example, if you're preparing Goldilocks for general
publication (not aimed at a specific age group), well, I know children who
have just started school and are fluent signers but have no English as yet.
I don't think it would be appropriate to put English lip patterns into a
book like that - it would be like saying you can't read this because you
don't have English yet.

I think, however, this principle will probably be extended to most
literature. It's just like in writing, say, English, you have more time to
think about how to make your meaning clear to readers, you find yourself
writing less rather than more, and in SW people will eventually get
interested in conciseness of expression and I think oral-language lip
patterns will be one of the first things to go.


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