Vertical Mundbildschrift (?)

Adam Frost icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 12 16:12:13 UTC 2007

I am guessing that Mundbildschrift means something like mouth movements. If I am right, then this is something on my list to get aquired knowledged of. ASL also have very important adverbs that are on the mouth. 



-----Original Message-----
From: "Sandy Fleming" <sandy at>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 16:38:19 
To:sw-l at
Subject: Re: [sw-l] SVG version of our IMWA symbols

On Sun, 2007-05-06 at 08:21 -0700, Charles Butler wrote:
> Sandy, Valerie, and others.

> The only drawback I see is the Gaebardenschrift methodology for
> full-mouth articulation as a multiple overlapping head would not
> easily be possible using this method. 

Charles, Val, Stefan,

As you all know, SignWriting was originally written horizontally, but
vertical SignWriting is now preferred. Fingerspelling seems to be going
the same way, with a recent suggestion of vertical fingerspelling on the
list finding approval. After all, once you decide to write vertically,
anything that's written horizontally within the column is "going against
the grain" and it should come as no surprise that writing it vertically
is an improvement.

I would suggest that Mundbildschrift could also better be written
vertically within vertical SignWriting (see attached diagram and excuse
the badly-drawn mouths!).

As I've said before, I prefer faces to be opaque so that any background
doesn't render the expression difficult to read. This seems to work very
well with vertical Mundbildschrift, as the head circle doesn't interfere
with any other part of the facial expression and, after the intial
expression which might contain eyes and nose, only the mouthings are

I understand that horizontal Mundbildschrift my be preferred in
educational texts aimed at helping Deaf children who are learning to
write in an oral language, but for normal SignWriting texts for everyday
readers, this seems to me to be a very clear, natural and compact way to
write Mundbildshrift, and no problems with it going against the grain
and right out of the column!

To me, MUndbildschrift isn't just an education concern, it's also
important for everyday SignWriting to show "native" sign language lip
patterns (such as the "po", "vee", "lum" &c of BSL).

Any thoughts?


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