SVG version of our IMWA symbols

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon May 14 05:02:20 UTC 2007

Hi Stuart!
Glad to know you feel this way...I prefer vertical writing too, and  
our Deaf DAC members from the past...Meriam Ina Schroeder, Lucinda  
O'Grady Batch, Kevin and Darline Clark etc. all wanted it it  
has been thought through very carefully with great detail...with  
vertical writing with lanes, we are capturing aspects of grammar we  
cannot capture writing from left to right...

I find reading long SignWriting documents in vertical columns  
increases my comprehension sees the spatial comparisons  
between left and right quickly and the writing matches the signing so  
beautifully...where in horiztonal writing, you cannot see the body  
shifting as well and your reading is slowed down because the writing  
is not in tune with the way signing really looks...

And I agree with you about the landscape direction of the  
paper...that gives shorter columns and seems very easy to read...

I am bringing out SignBank 8.5 this week if it kills me! And we have  
landscape printing of literature as a format in SignBank 8.5...

Thanks for this input once again...

Val ;-)

Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> Actually, I prefer vertical writing than horizontal for  
> SignWriting. It is so much easier to read than horizontal writing.  
> I have become less a fan of horizontal SW since I have used  
> vertical SW. I almost never use horizontal SW anymore. I think it  
> is more logical to write vertically because we are writing the body  
> in space as it moves. The body position moved back and forth across  
> the lanes makes a great deal of sense. I also believe that as  
> reading proficiency increases, size will be less of an issue  
> because I will not be reading the individual symbols but the whole  
> sign. Just like I am right now as I type in English, I am not  
> really looking at the individual letters. I am seeing whole words  
> and then when the visual shape of the word is out of the ordinary,  
> I realize I have misspelled it. I think the same will become true  
> of SignWriting as people become more fluent. WIth greater fluency,  
> we can reduce the symbols much smaller but still be readable.
> I also think that printing landscape may be the best orientation  
> for printing SW in vertical lanes. That may also work well to keep  
> things tidy too.
> As I mentioned before, horizontal scripts mixed into our writing  
> can be made to fit our vertical orientation. I don't see why we  
> should feel forced to adopt a horizontal orientation just because  
> it is convenient or better accepted for spoken languages. ;-)
> Just my thoughts.
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> On May 13, 2007, at 12:30, Sandy Fleming wrote:
>> 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  :)
>> Sandy

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