Mundbildschrift and Mundbild ;-)

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon May 14 05:07:48 UTC 2007

OK. I stand corrected. I will not mention the term IPA!

I will let Stefan tell us what SpeechWriting does and I am going back  
to SignWriting ;-)))

I look forward to watching the SpeechWriting develop to see what Stefan, I hope you will keep us informed of your  

Val ;-)


On May 13, 2007, at 9:52 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> 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