Glyph vs Symbol

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Sep 15 13:43:37 UTC 2012

I think that glyph, used in sign-symbol-sequence conveys a clearer idea of the placement of the symbols than "symbol" alone. Coming from hieroglyphic people associate it with human based symbols, not simply symbols like "&" ampersand which convey a meaning in spoken language. If one downloads from the SignPuddle without naming the sign, the word "glyph" is used for the whole sign representation. 

It has been used in discussion for both the whole "sign" and the individual parts of it as "more than one kind of symbol" together. So one has handshapes, movement symbols, speed, prosody, but all of them together are glyphs. 
Charles Butler
chazzer3332000 at
Clear writing moves business forward.

 From: MARIA GALEA <maria.azzopardi at UM.EDU.MT>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 6:56 AM
Subject: Re: ISWA (2010) Detailed Location symbols
Hi Claudia-
yes your answer is very good and I will cite you about Detailed Location,
since you have already analyzed it :) (i still have to February - so by
then, I will hopefully have read your whole thesis and then I will add the
exact citation and page number) - how exciting is your work!

I am wondering whether to use the term 'symbol' or 'glyph' in my work -
can you explain why you chose 'glyph' rather than 'symbol'. I think it's
good that academics in a shared field use the same terminology, so if
there is good reason for your choice of the term 'glyph' I think I may
adopt it and say I adopted it from your work..


> hi Maria,
> do you mean symbols used to indicate the exact location of a hand or a
> touch?
> As I know, no one use them! The reason (as I say in my thesis) is that
> they
> seems "alien" in a SW figure... Imagine that you want to write a sign with
> a detailed location symbols. You have to write your sign, and then add in
> a
> corner one of those "detailed location symbols": they don't have the same
> aspect of other glyphs, they don't have the same size, so you can't use
> them as a base to put others glyphes like configuration or mouvement...
> they are like "a punch in a eye" (tipical italian expression) and they
> broke the analogical relation between signing space and SW space.
> By the way, on my point of view, they are also useless. Infact, SW have
> the
> caracteristic to have a perfect indication of the location that is not
> "explicit" but is "implicit" (Garcia, from Univ.Paris8, call this
> "emplacement en creux"), given by the relative location of the others
> glyphes. When the implicit location is not enough, users put more
> informations as he position of arms or shoulders.
> I hope I gave you a satisfying (and understandable) answer
> Claudia
> 2012/9/15 MARIA GALEA <maria.azzopardi at>
>> Dear all,
>> I'm searching for work, in the Dictionary Puddles, or elsewhere - where
>> the researcher/writer has chosen to use detailed location symbols. Maybe
>> in a printed dictionary or some sort?
>> Would appreciate if you could direct me to some work that uses ISWA's
>> Detailed Location symbols.
>> Thank you! Wish you all a pleasant weekend.
>> maria
> --
> Claudia S. Bianchini
> PhD Student @ Univ. Paris8 + CNRS-UMR7023-SFL
> PhD Student @ Univ. Studi di Perugia + CNR-ISTC-SLDS
> chiadu14 at
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