All Things Linguistic: SignWriting in ASL

Erika erhoffma at OBERLIN.EDU
Sat Mar 2 17:48:33 UTC 2013

It's funny - I'm writing this on my phone from a Deaf studies conference at Swarthmore and in our last discussion we ended up in a discussion. Comparing Si5s with SW. People really didn't understand what SW was and I kept hijacking the conversation trying to correct misinformation. :)

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 2, 2013, at 11:38 AM, "MARIA GALEA" <maria.azzopardi at UM.EDU.MT> wrote:

> Oh sorry - i didn't notice the thread in these emails -
> thanks for the information Stuart about the book, I will try to trace it..
> thanks all..
> maria
>> So minimalist to the point of you have to perform minimal pairs on every
>> element in the system. I am beginning to see that effort in LIBRAS as we
>> see comparisons of hand shapes and orientations that come from a
>> linguistic point of view.
>> Example from Eda Amorim is that the thumb in many cases is not the
>> differentiator for meaning, such as the flat hand, several signs that are
>> performed with the index and middle finger where the same sign exists with
>> the thumb articulated and not so that complete dictionaries don't easily
>> show the relation.
>> This will be a long-term effort, and right now SW is the only way to
>> clearly and quickly show the related signs.
>> Charles Butler
>> chazzer3332000 at
>> 240-764-5748
>> Clear writing moves business forward.
>> --- On Fri, 3/1/13, Adam Frost <icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> From: Adam Frost <icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject: Re: All Things Linguistic: SignWriting in ASL
>> Date: Friday, March 1, 2013, 2:49 PM
>> That's the same impression I got from Robert Arnold when I talked with him
>> about si5s a few years back.
>> Adam
>> On Mar 1, 2013, at 11:22 AM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> I have the book for si5s and have discussed some with Adrean Clark who
>> wrote the book. Since I am interested in writing sign languages in
>> general, I figured I might as well find out more about their system.
>> One major difference between si5s and SignWriting is that si5s is not
>> interested in being able to record all the details of the signing. Where
>> SignWriting can be used to be as detailed or as simple as you want, si5s
>> is intended to be as minimal as possible (or so I understand). In some
>> cases, you may not be able to be as specific with si5s as you can with
>> SignWriting. That's an intentional design decision. New symbols are added
>> only if it is absolutely necessary to be readable. At least, that is how I
>> understand the approach.

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