SVG version of our IMWA symbols

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Sun May 13 03:55:26 UTC 2007

Well, this is just my 2ยข worth, but it seems to me that most  
horizontal writing systems lose nothing being written vertically  
whereas SW seems to miss more when it is written horizontally. I  
would suggest that when we do comparisons, we do them vertically.  Or  
we simply put the horizontal text before or after the vertical text.   
Just my thought.


On May 12, 2007, at 10:56, Charles Butler wrote:

> I hope, however, we will always have a choice in rendering SW as  
> horizontal or vertical, precisely for use in classrooms where one  
> is trying to compare grammar for a horizontally written language  
> and a vertically written one.  I know we miss lanes with that, and  
> that is an essential feature of sign language, not really sure how  
> to point out that other than both vertical and horizontal  
> renderings.  One does that with Chinese or Korean, where a word or  
> meaning is compact in the Chinese or Korean and then expanded in  
> the English or other alphabet.
> Fingerspelling compared letter for letter, sign cluster for  
> grammatical phrase, there will always be a good reason for  
> horizontal possibilities, even with vertical preferred.
> Charles
> Sandy Fleming <sandy at> wrote:
> 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
> shown.
> 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?
> Sandy

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