CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US
CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US
Wed Jul 11 12:51:27 UTC 2007
One thing I've noticed myself doing is reserving two of the eyebrow faces
almost exclusively for grammar. The one with eyebrows up is for topics
and yes/no questions, the eyebrows down is for wh-questions. The other
eyebrows are for 'intonation' where I am taking on a speaker's character,
or showing some emotion connected to what I am signing. But, with only a
couple of exceptions, eyebrows up and eyebrows down, to me, signal
grammar. Something like that helps I think, because you would be able to
separate out the grammatical information from the other stuff more easily.
ASL just carries SO MUCH information on the face!
As I am doing tons of roleshifting with the Cat, I have been thinking
about something like quotes, where I signal with a symbol that this set of
facial expressions or this body position starts here, and down a ways
another symbol saying it ends here. But I'm not sure that is the best
solution, just one possible one. I have been reloading the previous sign
I just wrote, and deleting everything but the faces for a lot of what I'm
writing, because the fish is always worried and the cat is always
cheerfully optimistic. I have been using the lanes for roleshifting, and
the "shoulder shift" to signal the start of roleshifting. If that starts
the roleshift, and you write in the appropriate lane, then when I shift
back to center, I have been just moving the signs back to the center lane.
Maybe if I added a shoulder line to signal the shoulders go back to
square? I haven't done that, because I would not want to mislead the
reader into thinking that the shoulders are important to this individual
sign... when they just end the roleshift. There have been instances where
I am in a roleshift, but I face strongly right, then turn and face more
forward while still in the roleshift. I don't think I have showed that,
for fear of misleading someone that I am done speaking for the character.
But I have been writing the signs off to one side or the other, depending
on who's speaking... that is the crux of it for me, I think. I have been
doing that because I AM signing to one side, but does that unnecessarily
complicate things? If I use the shoulder shift symbol or the shoulder
angle symbol (since after the initial shift they don't move again, just
stay at that angle) in each sign, and write the sign itself as if my
shoulders were square, would that make it easier to read?
GSD Staff Interpreter
232 Perry Farm Rd
Cave Spring, GA 30124
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"Stuart Thiessen" <sw at passitonservices.org>
Sent by: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
07/10/2007 06:19 PM
Please respond to
sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
Re: [sw-l] Role shifting
Well, we can use other marks that indicate what is going on, but I
would prefer to let the facial expressions and other non-manuals
already in ASL do the work as much as possible.
For example, I am curious to see if maybe we simply need the period
symbol and then let the ASL facial expressions handle the questions,
exclamations, etc. If that works, then the "period" only means end
of sentence. We can let the non-manuals handle what kind of sentence
(statement, question, command, etc.) I am not saying that we do not
need the punctuation symbols. But we should check to make sure if we
do or not.
Some languages like English only use intonation (variation in pitch)
to indicate questions. Some languages actually have changes in the
words themselves or they have specific question words that indicate
that the sentence is a question. For English, since the words
themselves do not change, we need punctuation to show the difference
between a statement and a question since you can have a statement and
a question and the only difference is the intonation. For example,
look at these three sentences.
(1) You went there.
(2) You went there?
(3) You went there!
(4) Why did you go there?
(5) Why did you go there.
(6) Do you want to go to the store.
Sentences 1-3 require punctuation because we can't figure out the
meaning of the sentence without knowing its intonation.
Theoretically, English doesn't need the question mark for sentence 4
because the word "why" clearly indicates that it is a question. Even
though I used a period, you can still understand sentence 5 or 6
because it has the word "why" or the word "do". Both of those words
signal a question. But it is now the standard practice in written
English to add the question mark to all questions even if it is
obviously a question because of sentences like #1-3.
But my belief is that ASL facial expressions are not intonations, but
"markers" that actually modify the sign (or a sequence of signs). So
my theory is that ASL may not need punctuation in the same way that
English does. But that needs to be tested. This may be true for other
sign languages. But we may have to test it on a language by language
basis. Each community will have to decide how it wants to handle
these kinds of situations.
On 10 Jul 2007, at 16:27, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> On Jul 10, 2007, at 2:09 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> I should also add that because some of these facial expressions
>> that "spread" over a sequence of signs is predictable to users of
>> a sign language, it will become easily read. Until you are used to
>> it, it might require some "re-reading" initially. But I think over
>> time one would say, "Hey, a question is coming up or some other
>> commonly used feature is coming up." and then read it easily
>> because it is helping you predict what is coming. So that
>> linguistic knowledge that is available to a user of a sign
>> language will work alongside the movement writing to make it easy
>> to read.
> Sure. You probably are right. I will be interested to see how
> readers do with the Unit Lines, to see if they comprehend them well...
> If so, I will need you to teach me exactly how you use them with
> vertical columns, because I had trouble writing them personally...
> While you brought up the subject of writing questions, and knowing
> if a question is coming or not, we actually do have other
> alternatives that could be used, but I am not asking you to do
> anything, and we have never tested or used these at all...just a
> This could be a good research project for someone someday...
> The other alternatives are the Question Mark punctuation symbols,
> that can be put at the beginning and end of a sentence...this also
> can warn you that the entire sentence is a question.
> We also have Quote Symbols inside Period Symbols! I have no
> idea...has anyone ever used these?
> Maybe in a few days I can show you how I thought they might be used...
> <Picture 2.png>
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