AW: Request for comment on a technical SignWriting document

Steve Slevinski slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Fri Dec 24 02:36:38 UTC 2010

Hi Stefan,

I'm glad you appreciate the work.

The Internet Engineering Task Force accepts documents that are for 
general use within the Internet community.  Any document submitted to 
the IETF must be free from copyright or intellectual properties issues.  
The copyright to the IETF ensures that these specifications can be used 
freely without worrying about legal issues.

The SVG refinements for the hand shapes are nearing completion.  SVG 
will be a reality in early 2011.  I need to update the sentence that you 

Horizontal writing will return shortly.

A few examples of my classification of SignWriting grapheme: featural, 
phonemic, and composite. A phonemic grapheme represents a meaningful 
concept such as hand shape, movement, dynamic, timing, head, face, trunk 
or limb.  A featural grapheme does not represent a meaningful concept.  
Category 5, group 28, base 639 contains finger symbols.  While entire 
hand shapes are meaningful, individual fingers are not.  Hand shapes are 
phonemic, fingers are featural because they must be combined with other 
symbols to form something meaningful.  Arrow stems (fill 4) are another 
example.  An arrow represents movement and is meaningful.  An arrow stem 
is not meaningful and therefore featural.  Composite symbols are a 
combination of other symbols.  The double touch is one example.  The 
double touch is a composite of 2 single touches.

Interestingly, there is a composite symbol that Valerie considered 
adding, but didn't for the ISWA 2010.  The tension press is a composite 
of tension and press.

I created the classification of SignWriting graphemes as featural, 
phonemic, or composite specifically for this document.  This represents 
my understanding of the SignWriting script.  Others have said that the 
entire SignWriting alphabet is featural, but I consider this a 
simplistic misapplication of terminology based on voiced language 
without understanding signed languages.

Sign text for display is new.  I'll be able to better explain it when I 
have a working example.

Thanks for the comments,

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