Discussion of a PhD thesis on SW

Claudia S. Bianchini chiadu14 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 8 14:34:33 UTC 2012

Hello Valerie and all ,
On 18th of september at 2pm there will be the discussion of my Phd Thesis on SW.
It will take place in che Conference Room of Site Pouchet (the address
is Rue Pouchet, n° 59 - Paris - France)
If someone is in Paris, he is welcome, just tell me!
The discussion will be in French and will be translated in French Sign Language

The abstract is:

Sign Languages (SL) do not have a written form and most of the systems
intended to
represent them have shown many failures. This study is focused on
SignWriting (SW), which seems
to be the best system, among the existing ones, to represent the forms of SL.
The aim of this work is to understand how, despite the apparent
complexity of the system, SW
appears to be so easy to use by trained deaf users; moreover, this
work wants to show SW capacities
as a tool to encourage metalinguistic observations on LIS.
At first the system itself is analyzed as well as the frequent
problems that emerge when expert
in SL and SW deaf users use it. This approach outlines most of these
difficulties, allowing to
understand (and sometimes resolve) them, which in turn favors the
development of the system.
Users’ observations cover not only the system itself but also its
adequacy for the writing and
transcription of SL, highlighting its potential as a means to raise
metalinguistic thinking. The final
part of the analysis is dedicated to the proposals for some
improvement of SW, on the basis of the
data gathered and the analysis carried out. These improvements aim at
teaching the system to deaf
adults and informatization of SW.
In conclusion, SW seems to be a promising system, effective to
represent the forms of SL,
despite some problems and the need for improvements; the deaf
community will have to decide
whether to adopt it as a writing system, take it as a starting point
aiming in that direction, or use it
just to transmit the shape of the signs.

Key-words: Italian Sign Language; Writing, Transcription, Deafness;
Linguistic analysis

WOW, I can't realise my thesis will be over by the 18th of this month :-)


Claudia S. Bianchini
PhD Student @ Univ. Paris8 + CNRS-UMR7023-SFL
PhD Student @ Univ. Studi di Perugia + CNR-ISTC-SLDS
chiadu14 at tiscali.it

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