SVG version of our IMWA symbols

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sun May 13 17:30:55 UTC 2007

On Sat, 2007-05-12 at 08:56 -0700, 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. 

Of course an actual SignWriting text as stored in a file should never
have any information about how it's to be rendered, whether horizontal,
vertical or in ever-decreasing circles  :)

How to display the text would be the user's choice, as long as the
software is mature enough to provide the sort of rendering he wants.

I don't know why we bother with the idea of "lanes" to represent body
shift in SignWriting, and I think the only reason we can't do it in
horizontal writing is because it hasn't been thought through properly.

To me, body shift simply feels like sideways shoulder movement when I
sign and I don't see why it can't be represented in SignWriting in just
this way. The shoulders could be drawn and an arrow, short or long,
could be used to indicate the shoulder movement to the left or right.

This way the body shift can be shown in the same way in both horizontal
and vertical writing, nothing is lost, and the technique uses resources
that are already available in the SignWriting system. There's no need to
introduce anything new to show body shift.

In vertical writing I suppose you could also actually move the sign to
the left or right if you wanted that sort of layout -though it makes for
wider columns and fatter books  :)


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