SVG version of our IMWA symbols

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Sun May 6 16:00:28 UTC 2007

Just a thought.  Would it be possible to think not in terms of rules and 
exceptions to those rules but in categories?  For example, in English 
there is a rule for how to spell words containing the combination of the 
letters "i" and "e."  It says: "i before e except after c," yet there 
are so many exceptions to that rule that it becomes almost useless.   It 
becomes more like "i before e except in / beige, cleidoic, codeine, 
conscience, deify, deity, deign,
dreidel, eider, eight, either, feign, feint, feisty, foreign, forfeit, 
freight, gleization, gneiss, greige, greisen, heifer, heigh-ho, height, 
heinous, heir, heist, leitmotiv, neigh, neighbor, neither, peignoir, 
prescient, rein, science, seiche, seidel, seine, seismic, seize, sheik, 
society, sovereign, surfeit, teiid, veil, vein, weight, weir, weird."

/What many rules do is to summarize in a way that aids memorization.  
But computers don't care about that.  A better way of presenting words 
with combinations of "i" and "e" would be simply to present one category 
of words with "ie" and another of words with "ei."

Now, I'm not intimately familiar with all the SignWriting symbols so I'm 
unable to make a parallel example, yet I can't help but wonder if there 
is one?


Valerie Sutton wrote:
> Hello Everyone...
> Just a few other thoughts from me...I like your editor ideas too, Sandy!
> And Sandy...I am sorry I thought you wanted to program Movement 
> Writing...I misunderstood...
> The IMWA means Movement me that means DanceWriting and 
> Skateboard writing and Norwegian craftsmen swinging an axe!....
> Let's work with the ISWA now...The International SignWriting 
> Alphabet....SignWriting does have a Movement-Writing form for phonetic 
> writing (which Kelly Jo eluded to yesterday regarding the enormous 
> detail of writing the differences in fist tensions from signer to 
> signer), and a more simplified form for Everyday Use....but there are 
> still fewer symbols than in the IMWA...which includes skateboarding etc.
> There are specific rules as to what is white in the symbols, and if I 
> handle the new ISWA folders for you properly, this will be at least 
> defined for you, when you create the SVG.
> There is the complication that not all symbols need 96 
> rotations...there are 8 Categories of symbols and each one's rotations 
> are handled differently, if you are going to program those differences 
> to get rid of the number of symbols...that programming was developed 
> by Rich Gleaves for SignWriter DOS years ago as you that we 
> could cut down on the number of symbols entered...he figured out all 
> the ways things could flop and rotate...for example...faces work 
> differently than hands etc...each Category has a different standard 
> way of using Fills and Rotations on the grid...
> But even with that fancy programming, there were still some symbols 
> that did not fit those categories and still needed work...after 10 
> years of programming SignWriter DOS...
> And even if those glitches were fixed, we still have another 
> problem...that some symbols look like each other, even though they are 
> technically a different the plain square white 
> palm...looks the same in several different rotations...
> But those different rotations are important for sorting dictionaries 
> properly, and so they must be there...
> That problem was never solved either, in SignWriter DOS, because 
> although Rich programmed all the flops and rotations properly, the 
> typist could not see when they had chosen the wrong rotation because 
> the two rotations looked the same...
> Oddly enough that is NOT a problem with reading or writing SignWriting 
> for the end user (the signer can read these fine because of other 
> clues in the written sign)...but in programming, it is a problem 
> because we need the correct ID number when sorting dictionaries by 
> Sign-Symbol-Sequence....if we have a SignSpelling Column, like we do 
> in both SignBank and SignPuddle, we can technically correct that 
> problem before sorting, which is excellent for now...and thank 
> goodness for the excellent SignSpelling features in SignPuddle 1.5!
> Regarding the stick figure...
> SignWriting only uses a full upper-body stick figure in its 
> phonetic-Movement-Writing form...or when writing gesture that is 
> related to signing but not a part of a formal signed language...
> But for everyday writing of signed languages, we do not need very many 
> arm lines, and slowly those can become standardized in size...
> I will be working with creating the ISWA with all symbols in one 
> folder, plus another folder with the symbols grouped by category, plus 
> all the ISWA symbols in SignBank 8.5 which can be printed in a 
> database to give you a notebook with every symbol to refer to....I 
> hope to start this work at the end of this month...
> I think the ISWA is a wise change...I am tired of seeing Skateboards 
> in the SignWriting symbolset!
> I am proud of our DanceWriting system, which can record full classical 
> ballets under a musical score...but just as the Roman Alphabet does 
> not record music, the SignWriting Alphabet does not need to include 
> symbols for writing dance!
> Someday I hope to really have this enormous writing system for all 
> forms of human and animal and insect movement in a symbolset called 
> the IMWA...but not in 2007!
> Have a wonderful Sunday everyone -
> Val ;-)

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