Mundbildschrift and Mundbild ;-)
signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon May 14 04:51:46 UTC 2007
May 13, 2007
Hi Kelly Jo!
This inspires me to try to get permission from the German TV station
to show everyone the half hour show taken in Stefan's Deaf classroom
at the Osnabruck School for the Deaf. It is an amazing program. It
has German captions on the screen, and because I know a tiny bit of
German, and because I know the subject matter, I was able to
understand exactly what was being explained and by the end of the
show, I felt like yelling BRAVO! What a wonderful teacher. His
students were truly having fun and really learning...
The mixture of learning to sign, learning to read SignWriting, and
also using SpeechWriting to learn to speak, was an amazing and
flexible way of teaching. Some of Stefan's students have started to
speak better because of his application of SpeechWriting...and in a
school where other classrooms use no signing at all...the teachers
look and see his success and wonder what his secret is...well...I say
it is because he inspired his students to reach excellence in
different ways...and SpeechWriting, although new, may be helpful for
some students...it depends on the student and the culture of course...
It will be interesting to see if someone in the English speaking
world will apply the Woehrmann SpeechWriting system to English
When I worked at NTID for 6 months in 1979, an oralist at NTID
(yes...there are oralists there) asked me to try to write the
movements of speech from a video tape...I have a tiny example of what
I did with that on the web:
scroll down to the bottom of that page to see the old diagram...
BUT...the Woehrmann SpeechWriting system is much better and really
used...I am glad Stefan developed it...
On May 13, 2007, at 9:32 PM, K.J. Boal wrote:
> I believe I read somewhere that Alexander Graham Bell had actually
> developed a SpeechWriting type of system, where anyone could look
> at it and see how the mouth, tongue, nose and even throat worked
> together to produce sounds. The story goes (if I remember
> correctly) that he demonstrated this system at some kind of
> Exhibition; he left the stage while his assistant wrote several
> suggestions from the audience. When he came back on stage, he
> easily read the first few sentences, but he couldn't make sense of
> the last one. He started to read the sounds, even though he didn't
> know what he was doing... and did a perfect impression of wood
> being sawn!
> I've wanted to take a look at the system ever since, but I haven't
> been able to find anything else written about it. I wish I knew
> whether it really worked as well as that story would suggest...
> anyway, Stefan's system looks pretty understandable to me - at
> least for sounds that are pronounced at or near the front of the
> I'm just not sure about the sounds produced way in the back of the
> throat, like G and K, or how voicing is represented. I also notice
> that the R in "Speechwriting" and the OE sound in "Woehrmann" are
> represented by the same symbol... I would be surprised if they were
> actually the same sound. But representing the retroflexed R that
> we use in English (and in every English accent I'm aware of, we
> would actually pronounce the R in a word like "Speechwriting"
> because it comes before a vowel)... I'm not sure how you would do
> that. Just my initial impression...
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