SignWriting Terminology

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Mar 21 21:41:44 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
March 21, 2006

Steve Slevinski wrote:
> I'm a bit confused by equating the Roman alphabet to SignWriting.   
> The Roman alphabet is a sequence of ordered symbols.  SignWriting  
> is a system for writing signed languages.  I think the Roman  
> alphabet is similar to the IMWA.  And I think that SignWriting is  
> similar to what is taught in English class.
> Cherie Wren wrote:
> I understand what Val means.  The Roman alphabet is a system of  
> symbols that can write several different languages.  Not all of  
> them, but a good number of them.  SignWriting is a system of  
> symbols that writes signed languages.  The IMWA is a bigger thing  
> that writes more than just signed languages, it writes any and all  
> movement.  Just like the international phonetic alphabet can write  
> sounds, not just those in the certain subset of languages written  
> using the Roman alphabet.

That is correct, Cherie! Perfect! That is what I am trying to say!

SignWriting is an alphabet that can be used to write a series of  
languages, signed languages.

The Roman Alphabet is NOT the Internationl Phonetic Alphabet,  
Steve...The IPA was developed because the Roman Alphabet did not have  
enough symbols in it to write every detail of the Roman  
Alphabet and the IPA are both for speech...the Roman Alphabet is for  
daily use, and the IPA is more for research use...

SignWriting is for daily use, and the IMWA is more for research use...

But you have blessed us by giving us the IMWA when we create signs,  
and in that sense, you have helped us greatly, because right now, we  
cannot know all the symbols needed to write one specific Sign  
Language, so for the moment, choosing symbols from the IMWA is  
great...but later, with your Symbol-Frequency searching method, you  
are helping us pin down the specific SignWriting alphabets for each  
Sign time we will not need the IMWA but will have a  
finite set of symbols that are specific for each Sign Language...that  
finite set of symbols is SignWriting for everyday use...that is what  
the Roman Alphabet is a finite set of symbols specified for  
each spoken language...

The Roman Alphabet is NOT alphabetical order, although it uses  
alphabetical order...

The Roman Alphabet are the symbols themselves and how they N, and M are both from the Roman Alphabet

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