writing multi-party conversation

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Aug 3 15:38:54 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
August 3, 2006

On Aug 2, 2006, at 9:23 AM, eghoffma at UMICH.EDU wrote:
> I am writing from the receptive point of view for these transcripts  
> as that seems more suited to what I am working on here (though I  
> agree that expressive makes more sense for personal writing). In  
> most of these conversations the signers are facing one another (and  
> are therefore at 3/4 to the camera). Does it make any sense to  
> represent the way that looks in the sign writing or does it make  
> more sense to write the signs as if the signers were directly  
> facing the camera?

Hello Erika!
I will be happy to show you some choices in writing from the side  
view later...

It all depends on your target audience...

If you are writing for people to read your document fluently, then  
Expressive would be the best...since that is what readers around the  
world know and understand...but you can show them turning to each  
other in the Expressive.

I can certainly understand why you want to write Receptive from  
video. In the Receptive you do not have to switch right side with  
left side in your head, while you are transcribing, so if you are  
skilled with Receptive, it makes the transcription go faster...

If you are the only one reading the transcripts, or if it is for  
researchers who prefer the Receptive because they too will be looking  
at the video, and comparing the writing with the video...then the  
Receptive is fine...for demonstration purposes...For example, if you  
want to show a large group of people that person A is standing here,  
and person B is standing in another area, then you could use Pattern  
Stages to establish their position on stage...like Full-Body writing  
does in DanceWriting.

So to answer your question...you can write either way...the way it  
really looks on the video, or you could choose to change your  
document to make it easier for the reader later...

By the way, Dr. Rocha Costa and co-writers chose to transcribe in the  
Receptive in this paper in 2005:

Using SignWriting as a Phonetic Notation System
Langues des signes, SignWriting, transcription phonétique ...

Here is an excerpt showing the Receptive transcription...

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