[Sw-l] New project from Germany: ISWA in Multimodal Transcripts

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat May 29 18:04:39 UTC 2021

SignWriting List
May 29, 2021

Hello SignWriting List Members -
It is my pleasure to introduce and welcome a new member of our SW List, Carolyn Dix, from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, who has been working on a project using Sutton Movement Writing. Attached is an article about the project written in German. Through the magic of Google Translate, I have been able to translate the title and a little of the first paragraph into English:

Carolin Dix
GAT2 meets the International SignWriting Alphabet (ISWA): A new system for the
Transcription of multimodality 1
Transcripts are an important tool in interaction analysis research. While however
there are already established conventions for the writing of verbal and vocal interaction resources,
there is no such uniform system for the transcription of visual-physical resources as with
multimodal aspects. In this context, the article introduces a new transcription system
before, the existing conventions, especially for the transcription of verbal and vocal resources, with the
Sign inventory of the International SignWriting Alphabet (ISWA) linked. This creates a
standardized, cross-research, but still based on the data, the transcription purpose and the….

Please see the attached pdf, which is an extract, written in German, plus Carolyn’s email messages to me about the project are below. Thank you, Carolyn, for this new gesture transcription work, and for your permission to post about it. The diagrams in the article are very interesting - I look forward to seeing more transcription - this will be very helpful to so many researchers later because video transcription is not easy ;-)

Thank you!!

Val ;-)


> Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Dix, Carolin" <Carolin.Dix at uni-bayreuth.de>
> Subject: AW: ISWA in multimodal transcripts
> Date: May 27, 2021 at 3:54:11 AM PDT
> To: Valerie Sutton <sutton at signwriting.org>
> Dear Valerie,
> thank you very much for your answer. 
> And yes, I joined the SignWriting List and it is very fascinating to go deeper into the SignWriting system and the discussions. I already learned so much about SignWriting.
> To give you an impression on how I designed my transcripts I attached a short extract of an article I wrote about my system and which will be published soon. Although it is in German (currently I work on the english version), I hope that you can get the idea.
> And of cause you can mention my project to the list as well as to individual researchers.
> Kind Regards,
> Carolin
>> ______________________________________________________________________
>>> On Apr 12, 2021, at 12:12 AM, Dix, Carolin <Carolin.Dix at uni-bayreuth.de <mailto:Carolin.Dix at uni-bayreuth.de>> wrote:
>>> Dear Mrs. Sutton,
>>> my name is Carolin Dix. I work at the department of German Linguistics at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). In the process of writing my PhD-thesis I started to use the ISWA inventory in combination with a system for transcribing verbal language to transcribe my data of naturally occurring social interaction. 
>>> While developing this system of multimodal transcription some questions appeared and I hope that you can give me a cue how to handle them.
>>> - 1st: My impression is, that because of its steady development for transcribing sign languages the ISWA system works very well for auto-tactile movements but not for socio-tactile ones. Do you see possibilities for representing e.g. touching another person, handshakes, kisses and other cooperative gestures? 
>>> - 2nd: A similar problem is with transcribing when people touch objects. With Sutton Movement Writing you show the example of the craftsmen gestures, but is there a way to represent in general that there is an object involved? In my data people grab a helmet, have a cup, a pen or paper in their hands, touch a steering wheel etc. Right now I transcribe the form of the hand (according to the ISWA) but I have no good idea how to represent that an object is involved, where the object is touched and how the object changes its position. 
>>> I am very enthused of how the ISWA has improved my multimodal transcrips and would be very happy if you could help me to fine-tune my system.
>>> I look very forward to hearing from you
>>> Best regards
>>> Carolin Dix
>>> Carolin Dix, M.A.
>>> Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
>>> Universität Bayreuth
>>> Fakultät für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
>>> Lehrstuhl für Germanistische Linguistik
>>> Universitätsstraße 30, GWI, Raum 0.29
>>> 95440 Bayreuth
>>> Tel.: 0921/55 36 28



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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