Role shifting

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Tue Jul 10 18:04:44 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
July 10, 2007

Hello Adam and Cherie!
I noticed the Unit Lines that you wrote Adam, and actually was  
planning to bring that up later ;-))

Of course it is great you bring the subject up...

Unit Lines are used for research documents that are trying to show  
the influence of one symbol on another...and I did use them myself in  
slightly different ways over the years...they actually stem from  
DanceWriting that uses music...and because of that, they do not  
really look like the rest of SignWriting for everyday use...

When we try to bring the writing system from the research lab, into  
the everyday reading library for signers, I think the Unit Line does  
not look like a writing system, but instead a notation system...and I  
choose not to use it.

So for detailed work, of course the Unit Lines can continue to be  
used, but I personally vote to not use them for Deaf children in the  
Cat in the Hat...

So of course that leaves the question...then how do we write role  
shifting without them?...

I believe there are ways already developed to do it, although it will  
start one more big conversation here on the List, and I am not sure  
my health can handle too much stress right now...but if we can take  
it slowly...I am happy to engage...

Val ;-)

On Jul 10, 2007, at 10:51 AM, Adam Frost wrote:

> This is just a quick note on your question, Cherie, about writing  
> role shifts. I had written it with in my writing of Cat in the Hat  
> on SignPuddle. I don't know if I used the unit line correctly  
> because I couldn't connect it. I hope it is clear. Maybe that will  
> give you some ideas.
> Adam
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cwren at
> Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 08:27:04
> To:sw-l at, sutton at
> Subject: [sw-l] Cat in the Hat 13
> "Now look what you did!"
> Said the fish to the cat.
> "Now look at this house!
> Look at this! Look at that!
> You sank our toy ship,
> sank it deep in the cake.
> You shook up our house
> And you bent our new rake.
> You SHOULD NOT be here
> When our mother is not.
> You get out of this house!"
> Said the fish in the pot.
> I've got some serious doubt popping up about roleshifting, and how  
> I'm showing it... Do I need to show the eye gaze and shoulder shift  
> with each sign? I have been putting more eye gaze in here thean I  
> did before... Also when I am shifted to one sign, and signing right  
> like in this passage for example, I have been writing the signs off  
> to the right... which makes some signs more difficult to write.  
> Should I be keeping them centered on the face, as if my shoulders  
> were square, but putting in the shoulder lines?
> cherie

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