Summary of writing steps for SignWriting

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Fri Oct 7 16:06:16 UTC 2005


I don't see mention of facial symbols. 

Also, locations left and right of an "anchor" seems to imply an anchor 
that is centrally placed.  Since most signs are done at chest level, 
perhaps, for purposes of writing a sign, the spatial anchor would be the 
center of the chest, corresponding to the center of the sign frame 
space.  Even if the sign has an anchor on a location of the body, that 
location, in turn, needs to be anchored, thus making the center of the 
chest a convenient reference point.   Maybe this is too simplistic, but 
it would give a standard reference point that would be readily understood.

My first reaction, though, was that after a period of time, we progress 
beyond the construction of the sign by it's individual symbols to just 
the sign itself and, further, to phrases and sentences.   At that point, 
we may not be constructing a written sign based on the recording of an 
observed sign but more on rote memorization of written signs accepted as 
standard.  In which case, the writing of the sign may very well take on 
a type of construction that's very close to what you have listed but in 
a standardized manner.  Perhaps Valerie's pronunciation rules could be 
used here.


Stuart Thiessen wrote:

> I was just looking for a way to describe in basic, simple terms how we 
> move from a sign we see to a sign we write. Any feedback on these 
> steps as a way to describe this process? It would be much appreciated. 
> I came up with these steps. I am not sure about the timing of #6, but 
> I just put it there for now. I wanted to think of a way to help people 
> visualize the process. This is what I catch myself doing. What about 
> you all?
> 1. Identify the sign’s “anchor.” This could be neutral space in front 
> of the body or it could be some location on the body.
> 2. If hands are involved (we should never assume always), we need to 
> identify the handshape(s) and orientation(s) and select the 
> corresponding symbol(s), placing the symbol(s) in 2D relationship to 
> the anchor.
> 3. If the hand(s) contact the body or each other, we need to select 
> the appropriate contact symbol to represent the contact.
> 4. Unless the sign is stationary or only consisting of simple contact, 
> we now look to identify the movement of the hand(s) and select the 
> appropriate movement symbol(s).
> 5. If the hand(s) change to another handshape(s) during the movement, 
> we select those handshape(s) and note their location(s).
> 6. Finally, we note any particular dynamics (fast, slow, tense, etc.) 
> and any non-manual markers that are essential to the sign.
> Thanks,
> Stuart

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