SW Report from Val's desk, July 29, 2010

SignWriting signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Jul 29 23:36:11 UTC 2010

SignWriting List
July 29, 2010

Dear SignWriting List!
Hope you all are doing well - Here are some of the events of July 2010:

SignWriting Report July 29, 2010

1. Professor Antonio Carlos da Rocha Costa in Brazil has moved to a new university, and in July 2010 posted the SW-Edit software program for download on his new web site. To download SW Edit, go to:

SignWriting Software Downloads

and scroll down. Click on Number 8 to download from the Brazilian web site. Thank you for this gift of software, Antonio Carlos!


2. On July 29, 2010, I was invited by teacher Dianne Parkhurst to visit with her linguistics classroom, at University of North Dakota for the SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) Summer Workshop:


Dianne's class has used SignWriting throughout the course this July, to write Romanian Sign Language, Paraguay Sign Language, American Sign Language and other sign languages, using SignPuddle Software online. The students asked me questions on Skype (I never had to travel to North Dakota ;-))

It was a good session. The Skype camera was setup well so I could see the classroom with yellow chairs (smile) and around 6 students...they asked me questions about how to use SignPuddle software, and I also showed them Adam Frost's ASL blog and the SignWriting Wiki and Encyclopedia pages. After the session was over, I continued to help Dianne and one student learn how to use SignText to create documents.

The students left me with questions on how to write two handshapes used in Paraguay, and the two handshapes are not in the ISWA 2010 (International SignWriting Alphabet)...so after the session was over I started working on how to teach them to build the two handshapes in SignPuddle - so that instruction is coming.

Thank you for inviting me to meet your students, Dianne, and it is really inspiring to see signs being added to the Romanian and Paraguay SignPuddles!


3. Diane and Steve Parkhurst are the authors of the textbook SignoEscritura, which is on our SignWriting web site for download and also for sale in our SignWriting Shop. The book was published in 2001 by Proel, and then later, in 2007 our organization was granted the rights to the book, and we re-published it under our own ISBN Number. You can download it here:

Download SignoEscritura Book

Well...guess what? In 2008 the Parkhursts wrote another book!! And although I knew about it, I had never seen it until a couple of days ago, when Dianne sent it to me chapter by chapter, attached to email messages. The Parkhursts have generously given us permission to post the files on the web for free download - isn't that wonderful? I haven't gotten to doing the postings on the web yet, but I hope to do that soon and will announce it. I need to put the book together into one PDF as well as post each chapter separately...


4. Speaking of textbooks...Adam Frost is staying with me here in July and August, and we are writing a book together on SignWriting Hand Symbols...it will be a reference manual that documents all 261 handshapes in the ISWA 2010, showing photos of Adam's hands and the symbols right next to the photos. The book will be at least 270 pages because 6 palm facings for 261 handshapes, with one page dedicated to each handshape, are a lot of pages! Our goal is to document every symbol pictorially in the ISWA 2010. Once the Hand Symbols manual is done, we will start working on manuals documenting Movement Symbols, Head-Face-Body Symbols, and how to write SignWriting Literature with Punctuation and Lanes.

The new SignWriting Hand Symbols manual will also be on the web. It will be located at:

SignWriting Symbol Lessons
International SignWriting Alphabet 2010

Right now, we only have the animated gifs posted on those lessons web pages, but later we will include each page from the instruction manual on the web.


5. Dr. Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway is working on a research project documenting SignWriting history and has been interviewing several SignWriting users, including traveling to Malta and Germany in August...a wonderful project...have a great trip, Erika -


6. I met with Maria Galea from Malta on Skype the other day, and we talked for more than an hour about the history of SignWriting, about our organization here in the US, and also we tried to use our new software DocumentMaker. The program had not been tested by anyone yet. It seems to work well as far as dragging and dropping columns from SignPuddle into the DocumentMaker program, so putting the pages together went well, but the printing is still not perfect and needs a little bit of tweaking. Thanks for testing the software with me, Maria!


7. The SignWriting workshop in the UK, in Southport, will be our focus in August. I am so impressed with Suzanne Pach's lovely design of this poster for the workshop. See attached. And I also love Maureen's DVD teaching BSL signs. Maureen sent me a copy of the DVD and we really enjoyed viewing it here.

The SignWriting Workshop will include three SignWriting books, Maureen's DVD teaching BSL, and several documents in BSL written by Suzanne Pach. Contact them to reserve your place in class:

Friday August 27, 2010
10:00am to 4:30pm
Taught by Suzanne Pach
Organized by Maureen Doyle

Contact them to reserve a space:
Maureen Doyle <maureengndoyle at hotmail.com>
Suzanne Pach <suzanne at bordvoorjekop.nl>

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