embedding ASL in pdf/html

SignWriting signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed Mar 24 03:00:38 UTC 2010

SignWriting List
March 23, 2010 

Alan -
I have been thinking about this and I realize that you are talking about Lojban as a "designed" language...but as you know, neither English nor ASL are "designed languages" but are naturally evolved languages, which actually follow logic, but not a "designed" logic by committee...naturally evolved languages may seem inconsistent at times, but they evolve the way they do because of the way the brain works naturally when using languages...

Meanwhile, I am writing this message because I wonder if you ever looked into Esperanto and SignUno? Esperanto is, as you know, a "somewhat designed" spoken language - they blend the common languages of the west, together, to create a language that they hoped would be an international way of communicating among westerners, but that never happened...everyone kept using their naturally evolved languages...although there is still a true following of Esperanto...

Nevertheless, SignUno is the sign language equivalent for Esperanto, and years ago an expert in SignUno wrote a complete SignPuddle dictionary for SignUno in SignPuddle Online:

SignUno Dictionary in SignPuddle

and the spoken language you see here is Esperanto i believe...thought you might be interested!

Val ;-)

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On Mar 23, 2010, at 6:56 PM, Alan Post wrote:

> I'm certainly not offended, thank you for sharing this with me.  I'm
> not sure I can fully respond, as there is a part of me that is not
> willing to stop working on my project, and there is only so much
> debate one can engage in if you're not willing to change your mind
> as a result of the debate.
> I feel deeply attracted to my project, such that not continuing to
> work on it would be traumatizing to me.  Thinking about the
> possibility certainly is.
> I would hope (perhaps it would be better say I would wishfully
> think) that there is some way in which I can honor the point of view
> you express here--both within myself and within "lo do ckiku ma
> zvati."  That there would be some change I could make--something I
> could do--so that this game would not make you feel this way.
> This is wishful thinking because it is a thought process that comes
> from my own unwillingness to abandon my project.  So I present it as
> a rationalization to continue doing the only thing I feel that I can
> do: play "lo do ckiku ma zvati."
> If you permitted me a moment to dream of ways you and I could both
> be happy, it would be this: I'm using ASL because it is available to
> me.  There are many grammatical elements in Lojban that have no
> parallel in English or ASL.  These three languages are expressive in
> their own ways, each has a vastly different grammar.  Lojban would be
> better served by having a sign language designed with the same
> principles used to create Lojban:
>  * Lojban is designed to be culturally neutral.
>  * Lojban has an unambiguous grammar, which is based on the
>    principles of logic.
>  * Lojban has phonetic spelling, and unambiguous resolution of
>    sounds into words.  (In the case of a sign language, an
>    unambiguous resolution of gestures into words, and the
>    technology already exists for the equivalent of "phonetic"
>    spelling.) 
>  * Lojban is regular; the rules of the language are without
>    exception.
> No such sign language yet exists.  I'm not qualified, alone, to do
> this work: it is an extremely high standard.  It would speak very
> well of one's ability to live according to one's ideals to see a
> project like this to completion for the purposes of resolving this
> issue.
> Given that I see the decision tree as either A) I destroy "lo do
> ckiku ma zvati," B) you stop feeling like "lo do ckiku ma zvati"
> is appropriating ASL or C) We come to a mutual understanding, a
> workable compromise, or in the best of all possible worlds a shared
> vision, I have a tremendous preference for option C.
> I don't know whether you and I can both get what we want in option
> C.  What do you think?
> -Alan
> On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 05:51:20PM -0700, Cherie Wren wrote:
>>   What hearing people have done, more than just a few times, is take the
>>   LANGUAGE of Deaf people, ASL, and minimize it into a code for English (or
>>   whatever).  Using the signs to' stand for' words in another language
>>   without understanding the grammar and structure that make ASL a language
>>   is reducing one of the most beautiful languages into nothing more than
>>   morse code on the hands.  Its like taking a beautiful piece of art and
>>   cutting it into pieces to use for note paper.   While using it to play
>>   your game to teach yet another language is, I am sure, useful to you, it
>>   contributes to the all too common misunderstanding that ASL is not a
>>   proper language, it is just 'hand talk code' and can be thrown about willy
>>   nilly in any fashion we want.  It denigrates ASL into a SUB-sub-language
>>   status.  (it has long been considered "less than" spoken language, now its
>>   being pushed even lower.)
>>   Wow.  Sorry.  I didn't realize I felt that strongly about it until I
>>   started writing.  I sat and seriously debated whether I wanted to send
>>   this or delete it, but you asked...  I have nothing against you or your
>>   project, and I hope this doesn't come across as too offensive.  But I have
>>   been fighting with hearing people who treat ASL as a way to manually
>>   represent English for FAAAARRR too long.  I apologize if I have ruffled
>>   any feathers...
>>   cherie
>>   --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>   From: Adam Frost <icemandeaf at gmail.com>
>>   To: SignWriting List <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
>>   Sent: Tue, March 23, 2010 2:32:19 PM
>>   Subject: Re: [sw-l] embedding ASL in pdf/html
>>   That's exactly what he meant. It is something that has to be treaded
>>   carefully because it has happened too many times where that exact fear has
>>   happened. That is why so many Deaf people are so protective.
>>   Adam
>>   On Mar 23, 2010, at 11:15 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
>>> So I am trying to imagine what the Deaf person meant by saying that to
>>   you...I would assume there is a possible fear, that hearing people will
>>   use Deaf people's native language, ASL, which is a true language, just for
>>   games, and not understand its importance in society .... do you think that
>>   was what he meant?
>>> Adam?
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> -- 
> te djuno lo do sevzi
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