Peter DeHaas - ASL Transcription for Linguistics Course

Peter DeHaas petercdehaas at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Mar 21 01:49:33 UTC 2008

The class is a required course for the MA in Linguistics its called  
Semantics & Pragmatics.
The course is offered through the University of Colorado in Boulder  
where I attend.

The document was created as a part of a transcription project for a  
language that we're fluent or very proficient in.
I chose ASL because that is my area of focus.  I taped a two minute  
video of me and my friend JJ who is a CODA.

This was my first sign-writing experience.  My professor encouraged me  
to try this way because she thought it would give a more accurate  
representation of the language.  In most cases, people transcribing  
ASL do so with English words in ASL word order, and then add  
appropriate notions denoting gesture, facial expression, intonation,  
etc.  In some ways this devalues the rich visual and expressive side  
of ASL.

I must say, the project was pretty daunting at first.  I started  
playing with the sign-writing format, asked Valerie for lots of help.   
Without Valerie, I don't think I could have done it with such a time  
crunch.  Now I feel like I could at least help others get started.   
Very cool concept, very cool program.  With Valerie's support and  
encouragement, I jumped in the "puddles" feet first.  Trial and error,  
learning through experience, and patience, these are all helpful when  
learning the sign writing format.

Again, I only transcribed a two minute conversation in ASL and it was  
over 20 pages front and back.  The notations in the left hand column  
denote (2.0) = pause, [ brackets ]= overlap, I also wrote in  
background noises which probably wasn't necessary, but is necessary in  
a spoken transcription.

Attached is the PDF.  Please credit me if you do you my data.  Thank- 

Also, if interested, I can post the actual video too!

Best to you all, feel free to email me any questions, or forward any  
feedback on the transcription itself.

Peter DeHaas

On Mar 20, 2008, at 3:40 PM, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SignWriting List
> March 20, 2008
> On Mar 20, 2008, at 1:49 PM, petercdehaas wrote:
>> Valerie, Thanks again for all your help!  I got a 105 (A++) out of  
>> a possible 100 points for my ASL transcription for semantics and  
>> pragmatics! WOW! Let me know if I need to do anything else to share  
>> it with the sign-writing community. Best, Peter DeHaas
> Hello Peter!
> Congratulations!...You got a better grade than the scoring allowed?!  
> Ha...imagine A++
> Well that makes me feel good too...I am happy that SignWriting and  
> our wonderful software, SignPuddle, could give you such a great  
> grade, coupled with your hard work of course, and the good advice  
> from your friends and professors...
> Was this at the University of Colorado? Tell us again what course  
> this was for? and where?
> Yes I would like your help...Do we have permission to see your final  
> document in Microsoft Word, now that it received an A++? ;-)
> With your permission, we could make a PDF from your Microsoft Word  
> document, and place the PDF in our SignWriting Library Online as a  
> document that other students can download and learn from...
> If that is ok with you, please send it to us and I will make the PDF  
> and post it...
> And if you can write an English paragraph or two, telling us how you  
> created the document, and how you felt about SignWriting and the  
> experience of writing your first dialogue...that would be great  
> too...anything to encourage others to try as well -
> So any ideas you have that will encourage others to use SignWriting  
> is always helpful ;-)
> Many thanks, Peter!
> Val ;-)
> Valerie Sutton
> Sutton at
> 1. SignWriting
> Read & Write Sign Languages
> 2. SignPuddle
> Create SignWriting Documents Online
> 3. SignBank
> SignWriting Desktop Databases
> 4. SignWriting List
> Technical Support: Ask questions to the List
> 5. SignWriting Literature Project
> Writing Literature in Sign Languages
> Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
> Center For Sutton Movement Writing
> an educational nonprofit organization
> P.O. Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038, USA
> tel 858-456-0098   fax 858-456-0020

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: asl-sem-prag2.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 299520 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------


SW-L SignWriting List

Post Message
SW-L at

List Archives and Help

Change Email Settings

More information about the Sw-l mailing list