Charles....Sorting Dictionaries ;-)

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Mar 22 04:54:23 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
March 21, 2006

Hello Charles and Everyone!
Many thanks for this question, Charles!

I know you have an excellent dictionary and did so much hard work.  
Everything you mention below can be done in SignBank. So whenever you  
feel ready, I can teach you how to add your signs to SignBank, from  
SignPuddle. Once you have the signs added to SignBank, in the  
SignBank Editor program you will tell the program what symbols within  
each sign, you want to sort first, second or third...that is called a  
SignSpelling Sequence...there is a Spelling column and you tell the  
program which handshape starts the sign etc etc...and everything is  
placed in a sequence as you mention below...the contacts, the  
location, the depth, the height...if you feel you need all that  
detail you can place it in there, or you can choose a very simple  
Spelling sequence...then once you have saved all the SignSpelling  
sequence-data in SignBank, you can then sort dictionaries by either  
the Roman alphabet or the Sign-Symbol-Sequence...and so you can print  
vocabulary lists or complete dictionaries, in a completely bi-lingual  
or multi-lingual it is a flexible tool and you tell it what  
you want...

Do you have some signs ready? Do you want to start to add them to  
SignBank now?

Val ;-)

On Mar 21, 2006, at 12:53 PM, Charles Butler wrote:

> I asked the same question Steve as I am sorting for a multilingual  
> dictionary in ASL, Libras, English, and Portuguese.
> I started with my corpus of 750 signs and began to sort them using  
> the Sign Writing for Everyday Use as a guide, and Valerie's article  
> as part of the process.  In so doing, we will need:
> 1) A set order of handshapes within the basic 10 groupings.
> 2) A set order of orientations within the basic 6
> 3) A set order of rotations within the basic 8.
> 4) A set order of contacts
> 5) A set order of movements
> 6) A set order of spatial locations
> 7) A set order of body contacts
> 8) A set order of facial expressions
> And imbedded in the above, what one does with two hands in a sign,  
> presumably start with the dominant hand, sort through the above,  
> add the second hand, and sort through the abov! e.  I did that with  
> my corpus of 750 and was able to get down to granular between the  
> sign "confusao" and "complicado" where the only differences are  
> intensity and speed.  In my dictionary, I placed smooth before  
> quick, but others might do differently.
> complicado   confusao
> Steve Slevinski <slevin at> wrote:
> Hi Val,
> Thanks for starting a message on terminology. I'm not using the
> terminology correctly, so this is very helpful.
> 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.
> I'm confused by what SignSpelling actually means. Is SignSpelling what
> you use, what you do, or what you get? Is SignSpelling for writing or
> sorting? I thought that SignSpelling was a subset of SignWriting that
> encompasses how to write sign and how to sequentially list the symbols
> in a sign for sorting.
> The word spelling has 2 definitions. 1) The act of the person who
> spells a word. 2) The way a word is spelled. It seems to me that
> SignSpelling is the system of rules that a person uses while he is
> spelling(1) a sign which results in a spelling(2) of a sign. Spelling
> is both his action(1) and his result(2), but he uses the rules of
> SignSpelling for guidance while he works.
> Many definition! s of "spell" mention the sequential order of the  
> letters,
> but that is because of cultural bias. The word spell comes from older
> words that mean "to talk" or "to relate".
> Middle English /spellen
> /Old French /espeller/
> Old English /spellian/
> It is interesting to note that "gospel" is derived from "good talk".
> If I was reading a document, I would hope that the words (or signs)  
> were
> spelled correctly. With most spoken languages, a word's spelling is
> used for sorting because words are spelled sequentially. However, the
> symbols in a signs do not appear sequentially, but in 2 dimensional
> space. I consider this 2 dimensional representation of a sign to be  
> the
> sign's spelling. If we had a Sign Spelling Bee, the contestants would
> watch a person perform a sign and would probably use a blackboard to
> write the sign.
> But this brings us to the question of how to sort signs in a
> dictionary. We need a way to write the symbols ! of a sign in a
> sequential order. The SignSpelling Guidelines 2004 is a great  
> reference
> for this
> ( 
> SignSpelling-2004.pdf).
> And that's why I was using the terms spelling and sequence when  
> talking
> about a sign. A sign's spelling is what you would find in a sign
> language text. A sign's sequence (or sort order) is a list of a sign's
> symbols that can be used for sorting.
> -Steve
> Valerie Sutton wrote:
> > SignWriting List
> > March 21, 2006
> >
> > Dear SW List Members!
> > Recently someone asked me to explain SignWriting Terminology (the
> > English words I use to describe different aspects of SignWriting).
> >
> > So I will create a chart of the terms I use in English. I hope we  
> can
> > translate these terms into other spoken languages later.
> >
> > Here is a beginning...More will be coming later...continued next
> > message...
> >
> >
> >
> >  
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> 3/21/2006
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