Mundbildschrift and Mundbild ;-)

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Mon May 14 03:27:08 UTC 2007

Just to clarify ...

Is this SpeechWriting system really writing the phonetics like the  
IPA or is it writing the phonemics (what is perceived to be the  
sounds of a given language)? The IPA does cover a very large  
territory of sounds, so unless you have a one-to-one mapping of the  
SpeechWriting system to the IPA, it may not be best to advertise it  
as an equivalent of the IPA until that time. There are some sounds in  
the IPA that are not visible on the mouth or the face. For example,  
some African languages have clicks and other such sounds. Other  
languages have tones which alter the meaning of a word even though  
the mouth movements are exactly the same. So those elements will need  
to be considered before it can be accurately called the equivalent of  
the IPA.

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but I tend to prefer precise  
language when it comes to things like this. I am not opposed to this,  
but as a Deaf person, I feel our first focus is enabling the Deaf  
person to read/write in their sign language. Using that, we can build  
bridges to reading and writing the spoken language. Whether or not  
this SpeechWriting will enable building a bridge to spoken language  
literacy or not would be an interesting study.

Just a thought.



On May 13, 2007, at 9:16, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SignWriting List
> May 13, 2007
> Adam Frost wrote:
>> Ok. That helps me understand what Mundbildschrift is. I could  
>> possibly be called Speech Writing. :-) So what I was thinking is  
>> called Mundbild, or maybe called in English Mouth Writing or Lip  
>> Writing. Your explanation helps a lot. Thanks. :-)
> Hello Stefan, Adam, Sandy, Charles and everyone!
> You are correct, Adam, that you are interested in writing what  
> Stefan calls Mundbild...which are SignWriting symbols applied to  
> writing the movements we see on the mouth while signing...and  
> writing Mundbild should be a part of the ISWA (the International  
> SignWriting Alphabet). I think your name LipWriting is fun! Or  
> Mouthing Writing...or just plain SignWriting Facial Expressions  
> might be fine too ;-)
> and you are right again, that Mundbildschrift is not the same...and  
> will not be a part of the ISWA.
> I asked Stefan to choose an English translation of the term  
> "Mundbildschrift" for us, so we can understand it in English...and  
> Stefan chose this translation:
> Mundbildschrift (Woehrmann's SpeechWriting System)
> Woehrmann's SpeechWriting System writes the sounds of the IPA  
> (International Phonetic Alphabet) using some symbols from  
> SignWriting Facial Expressions, but then developing those symbols  
> further, to create a standard way of writing the sounds of the IPA.
> Here is an example...see attached...this is a sentence written in  
> Woehrmann's SpeechWriting System. This sentence writes the sounds  
> of the English sentence at the bottom of the diagram. You can see  
> there are seven words, read from left to right. If a person  
> memorizes what sound is represented by each standardized facial  
> expression, they can produce the sounds of of the IPA:
> <Woehrmann's SpeechWriting.gif>

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