Mundbildschrift and Mundbild ;-)

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Mon May 14 04:52:31 UTC 2007

I am not discounting at all what Stefan is doing with Speechwriting.   
My only point was about your mention of it being an equivalent of the  
IPA. I am simply saying that we should be careful about saying it is  
the equivalent of the IPA unless it is truly able to map over to the  
IPA.  Otherwise, it is better to simply say, "Woehrmann's  
SpeechWriting System is a method of transcribing sounds using the  
SignWriting face symbols to show the visual depiction of those  
sounds. This system has been used (thus far) to transcribe German. It  
may be able to be used to transcribe the sounds of other spoken  
languages." As Stefan expands the mapping of the symbols to match the  
IPA more specifically, then it will be possible to say that it  
contains these ranges of IPA symbols or something like that.

Sorry I am picky about that. But I think that is an important point  
to clarify for the sake of those who do know the IPA and who might  
think we are trying to reinvent the wheel or some other such thing. :)

At this point, I am neutral about the SpeechWriting. I am neither for  
nor against it. It is simply another tool that we can use or not use  
depending on our need. For now, I don't see my need to use it, but I  
plan to keep an eye on Stefan's work with it to see how it works for  
him. :) I certainly will look into it if we determine that it is  
important to write ASL mouthings more specifically.



On May 13, 2007, at 23:28, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SignWriting List
> May 13, 2007
> Hi Stuart!
> Woehrmann's SpeechWriting System has been used to write the details  
> of German speech, (both the seen and unseen parts of speech), and  
> has been taught to Deaf students in Stefan's class for several  
> years...maybe 5 years? Is that right Stefan?
> Stefan's students are also signing in his classroom is  
> not oral like the others in his school...
> I do not know if other spoken languages have tried SpeechWriting  
> yet...So far it seems to work well for German! ;-)
> I saw a German TV program...a full half hour show...where German TV  
> crews came in and taped Deaf kids reading the SpeechWriting System  
> in their class, and it was very impressive.
> First, the kids in Stefan's class seemed to be signers. Sign  
> Language was prominent in their classroom.
> Second, they used SignWriting for reading signs...Using SignWriter  
> DOS! (this was before SignPuddle ;-) Stefan typed with SignWriter  
> DOS in front of the cameras - it was great!
> And then they used the SpeechWriting system for reading some spoken  
> German documents that Stefan had prepared for them in  
> an observer, I got the feeling they really  
> sincerely enjoyed learning it...
> ...Stefan was kind enough to send me a CD of that TV program and I  
> hope someday to telephone the TV station to get permission to show  
> it to others...
> Anyway, SpeechWriting is not a part of is another  
> subject.
> Of course SignWriting records the movement of the mouth...but is  
> not the same as SpeechWriting..
> And this list is about SignWriting ;-)
> I will leave the details of the IPA to others...
> But at least you now know that SignWriting mouth movement writing  
> is not the same as SpeechWriting, which has a different purpose...
> Val ;-)
> --
> On May 13, 2007, at 8:27 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> 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.
>> Thanks,
>> Stuart
>> 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>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list