AW: [sw-l] Writing mouthing of words with SSW
stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Sun Feb 26 11:42:55 UTC 2006
Hi Valerie, Erica, Cherie and friends,
I am so sorry - but somehow it is difficult to explain - because of the two
complete different systems - but similar terminology.
Let us forget about "Mundbildschrift" within the context of SW !!
I agree that within the context of SignWriting this is what I do:
I look at the mouth of the signer and try to describe what I see with the
symbols from Your IMWA symbol set.
Besides voiceless articulation we observe mouth gesture as well a great deal
and I agree that that part is very important in DGS as well.
There has been a severe and pretty heated discussion about this aspect of
"voiceless articulation". I do not want to open that can of worms again.
The step aside - smile- is that I made some decisions that had not been made
With my pre-knowledge of German Language and German Sign Language I can make
different observations /interpretations of what is being performed.
Since this voiceless mouthing is a part of some SL performances (smile)
in some SL of the world it should be important to find a way to document
Without knowing the spoken language of that given country it might be
difficult or even impossible to capture the important aspects of this
But as an informed observer there is now a possibility to provide at least
that bit of information that allows the reader to understand the written
document without any doubts.
If you compare the SW spelling for ship and boat in the US - puddle - you
find no difference.
If a teacher with ASL background wants his/her students to
translate/understand the two sentences -
The ship is blue. The boat is white.
What would they write? How do they know that the nouns are different?
All the best
Von: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
[mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Samstag, 25. Februar 2006 19:42
An: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
Betreff: [sw-l] Writing mouthing of words with SSW
February 25, 2006
Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> Valerie - I think it is very important to understand the difference
> "Mundbildschrift" and Mundbilder in SignWriting /GebaerdenSchrift)
Perhaps I get the German terminology incorrect...I am sorry!
Mundbilder is what I call SignWriting Facial Expressions, I guess! It
is funny because we never created a term specifically for the facial
expressions used in the grammar of signed languages...they are simply
SignWriting symbols that are applied by the writer to write that, if
Mundbildschrift is what I used to call SpeechWriting, years ago,
writing the movements of speech specifically...not involved with any
signed language at all... but of course Mundbildschrift is your
invention, Stefan, when specified for writing German speech...
What is so fascinating about your work, Stefan, is that you have
actually used Mundbildschrift combined with the writing of basic
signs in DGS, haven't you at times? Giving the Deaf students the
mouthing of the words plus the basic signs...which is different than
a Deaf person signing to another Deaf person, when some of the mouth
movements change to reflect the grammar of the signed language and
have little or no connection with the speech of the spoken language
in the country...
Here in the US there are some Deaf people who mouth words when they
sign with hearing people, but when they sign with other Deaf people
and the hearing people leave the room, their mouth movements change
from mouthing speech to the Deaf facial expressions necessary for ASL
> Love to read more messages about this problem. I understand that
> some or the
> majority of ASL - signers do not use these lip-movement
> information ...
This is a little complicated, but we did some research on this when I
worked with around 10 Deaf people, called the DAC, or Deaf Action
Committee years ago...Kevin Clark is born several generations Deaf,
and obviously so was his sister, Darline (grin)...but they are two
very different kind of signers when it comes to mouthing words...
Kevin has literally no hearing at all and cannot use hearing aids
because the nature of his deafness...this means that sound is really
not a part of his world. His Deaf sister Darline would be completely
deaf without a hearing aid, but with a hearing aid she has some sound
The difference is night and day, when it comes to mouthing
words...Darline mouths some, but Kevin simply does not...They are
both strong ASL people, but there is a difference the way they use
mouthing...and what is really important here is that Kevin is totally
understood clearly, without the mouthing of spoken language, for
anyone who knows ASL...so the mouthing is NOT essential for
understanding ASL...but certain ASL facial expressions ARE essential
for understanding ASL grammar...
So that is why we do not write as much mouthing in our ASL
SignPuddle, as you have in your German SignPuddle...the facial
expressions specific to true ASL change, depending on their placement
in a sentence, and so to place that in the dictionary is hard,
because there is not one facial expression that it always connected
with each ASL sign...and we know that mouthing the English word is
not necessary, in fact, it can hinder the reading of ASL grammar...
So you are right to separate the writing of mouthing and the writing
of grammatical facial expressions...we need better terms in English
for this! You have terms in German...smile...
Congratulations on your great work!
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