Vertical Mundbildschrift (?)

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sat May 12 16:51:16 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
May 12, 2007

Adam Frost wrote:
> 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.

Hello Stefan, Adam, Sandy, Charles and everyone -

Stefan has terminology in German that explains this best. That is why  
I someday want to find a good translation for our English language,  
so we can understand it better...

So please forgive, Stefan, if I do not explain this correctly ;-))  
Feel free to tell us!

This is my understanding...

There are three ways to write facial expressions and mouth movements...


1. SignWriting Facial Expression Symbols
Used to write the natural mouth movements that occur while signing by  
Deaf signers
This we have always done from the beginning of SignWriting in  
1974...except we need to standardize it and improve our analysis over  
time...the Adverbs on the Mouth in ASL, that Adam mentions above, are  
already explained in a long article in ASL by George Butch  
Zein...there are two places to read the article:

SignPuddle ASL Literature


ASL Facial Adverbs Web Article


2. Mundbilder - Writes MOUTHING of spoken language words while signing
Stefan worked on standardizing how the MOUTHING of German words is  
written while writing SignWriting of DGS (German Sign Language)

DGS does not use fingerspelling like we do in ASL, so MOUTHING is a  
part of actual part of their language that is a part of the  
Deaf Community in Germany...they MOUTH more than ASL does...The Sign  
Languages of Northern Europe seem to depend on MOUTHING more for  
information, instead of fingerspelling...

Mundbilder could be developed for the writing of MOUTHING of other  
signed languages and spoken languages too...

we could call it in English: MOUTHING WRITING ;-))


3. Mundbildschrift - Writes the movements of WHAT YOU SEE and also  
WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE while reading the lips of a person speaking in  
spoken German.

This is a form of SignWriting symbols that Stefan then developed  
further, to represent standardized ways of writing speech movement  
that can be memorized to help a Deaf child learn to pronounce words  
better and also to learn to read the German spoken language  
better...Stefan teaches in a school where he is the only teacher who  
uses Sign Language with his Deaf students...all the other teachers  
have oral classrooms...but now, because Stefan's students are doing  
so well in school...other teachers are starting to take  
notice...Mundbildschrift is actually opening the door for other  
teachers to be introduced to Sign Language and  
indirect result that is very positive!! Plus Mundbildshrift really  
works for teaching spoken German to his students...

I believe that we all have to live in the cultures we live in....and  
do the best we can for the world within our own environments...

I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be the only teacher in an  
oral school that uses Sign Language, with all the other teachers oral...

So Mundbilder and Mundbildschrift have a place in the writing system  
and need to be understood better and explained in English  
better..something I hope we can do in the translation of Stefan's  
textbook from German to English...which we are working on together  
now ;-)

Regarding writing it vertically - I think that is an interesting idea  
that should be explored!!

Val ;-)

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