Is SignWriting an antalphabet? and featural? Joe's writeup is thought-provoking...

Gagnon et Thibeault atg at VIDEOTRON.CA
Fri Oct 14 18:04:34 UTC 2011

Hi Val and everyone,

    Val, thank you for your answer.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Valerie Sutton 
  Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 1:08 PM
  Subject: Re: Is SignWriting an antalphabet? and featural? Joe's writeup is thought-provoking...

  SignWriting List
  October 14, 2011

  Hello Andre!

  I got a big giggle out of your comment We will not be officially changing the name of the ISWA (Internatinoal SignWriting Alphabet)...!!

  So in French, if you can translate just these words: International SignWriting Alphabet ....  that will be

  But Joe Martin has described very well the different terminology used in the linguistic professions, related to the term "alphabet"...

  In Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway's latest published article in the Language & Communication Journal, she references Joe Martin's discussion of the term "pictographic" in his paper from 2000, on page 6:

  Joe Martin's Paper on comparing Stokoe Notation with SignWriting

  Erika also uses the term "featural" to describe SignWriting as well ... and each author of articles and papers may view SignWriting from a different lens or angle - so these terms are useful to try to describe a very unusual writing system...

  What I take from this is that there are several categories of alphabets - and that some feel that the SignWriting Alphabet is featural, pictographic in its own way, iconic and antalphabetic ...nonetheless ... in a broad general sense, it is still an alphabet...and so we will keep our name - the ISWA ;-)

  I love the descriptions of SignWriting by both Joe Martin and Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway - it is very helpful to read their analysis -

  Val ;-)


  On Oct 12, 2011, at 9:59 AM, Gagnon et Thibeault wrote:

    Hi everyone,

        Would you translate "featural antalphabet" to French?

        I am just curious.  Is ISWA "International SignWriting Antalphabet?



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