Research on social implications of SW

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Nov 12 20:00:25 UTC 2011

SignWriting List
November 12, 2011

Hello SW List members...

Thank you for several good messages today, from Charles Butler, Madson Barreto and Chris Farman.

These messages will start several good discussions - and I plan to answer them all today and tomorrow.

Chris, thank you for your message below. Your research on the social use of SignWriting sounds interesting and valuable. I would like to give you information in the following areas, over several messages posted here to the List today…including...

1. information on research on anthropological linguistics, by Dr. Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, who is studying not only the linguistic aspects of SignWriting, but is interested in the socio-linguistic reasons as to why people write as they do… Erika is also here on this List and can share more with you...

2. information about an historic development here in the US, that is happening on a daily basis. Members of a Deaf church in Michigan are using SignWriting as their way of learning about and reading the Bible - A portion of the Deaf congregation cannot read the Bible well in English. Others can read English, so not all of them are using SignWriting texts, but there are some who would not be learning the Bible without the translations of the Bible into written ASL…that is a social event that is happening weekly at Bible study and on Sunday services…Ron Dettloff, the Church pastor, is here on the SW List…I will tell you more soon...

3. information about Deaf children in Germany who are able to live in a hearing world better, because their knowledge of the world was enhanced by the use of SignWriting and Woehrmann's SpeechWriting to understand spoken German, and to be able to read spoken German textbooks because the textbooks have been translated into German signs and written in SignWriting - the result of 10 years studying with their teacher Stefan Woehrmann has given them this solid foundation - they are quite fluent in SignWriting and write by hand as well as by computer - There is also information about Deaf children in Germany responding in SignWriting about 9-11, which is also fascinating...

4. information about Deaf students in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, whose test scores improved in school with the use of SignWriting…

5. information about Deaf students and adults in Nicaragua who have over 40 books written in Nicaraguan Sign Language in SignWriting, and who use their written documents on a daily basis with each other, and even to help themselves learn American Sign Language and other sign languages and so forth…

6. information from the UK…SignWriting was taught in a Workshop last year in SouthPort and there are written documents in BSL...

and I encourage others to post, in this thread, your experiences with the social implications of SignWriting - Chris' research will be valuable for our SignWriting Community -

So please look for new messages relating to the above points and other groups and projects please post!

Val ;-)


On Nov 12, 2011, at 10:47 AM, chris farman wrote:

> Hi, 
> I am currently looking to find documentation on the social use of SSW and any research that has been written in this area as at the moment I can only find documentation more focused upon the linguistical side of SSW. 
> As most research has been done in relation to ASL I would be very interested to read any that use BSL as the base language.
> Any help would be greatly appreciated 
> Many Thanks
> Chris
> BA(Hons) Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies
> Reading University 
> United Kingdom


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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