signs in different cultures

Liz Harvey metaloma at SHAW.CA
Mon Jan 16 21:23:39 UTC 2006

Thanks Valerie!  I am interested in any information I can get on using
> SignWriting out in the field for research such as in Primatology.   
> Several
> students have asked me if there are examples of research where  
> someone has
> used SignWriting to map the movements of humans, non-human  
> primates, or
> other animals.
> I want to introduce myself to the list.  I am a graduating 4th year
> anthropology student, and I am making 'universal access' the focus  
> of my
> Masters thesis. I have been asked to give a presentation about  
> SignWriting
> to a 3rd year anthropology class at Malaspina University-College in  
> Nanaimo,
> BC, Canada for Dr. Helene Demers' class as part of my Directed  
> Study on the
> SignWriting system.  I am hoping to connect with as many list  
> members as
> possible, so that I can present a balanced and informative  
> presentation to
> my class.
> I also have a question:  I have noticed that (being the cultural  
> animals
> that we are), people from other cultures are adapting the  
> SignWriting system
> to work with their native sign languages.  If this is indeed the  
> case, won't
> signs change from culture to culture?  In other words, won't the  
> same sign
> in ASL possibly mean something different in  Dutch sign language?   
> Does that
> not impede the international utility of the SignWriting system?   
> What I
> particularly liked was the idea that one system could be read world- 
> wide,
> but if people are changing the meaning of the symbols, does that  
> not negate
> some of its universal benefits?
> I would appreciate hearing the views of the list regarding this  
> question and
> any other thoughts, insights and personal experiences members might  
> wish to
> share.
> Thanks!
> Liz Harvey-Carter

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