SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

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January 9, 1998

SUBJECT: SignWriting Is NOT A Language

From: "Diego Gonzalez Castanon" <>
To: SignWriting <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 07:37:05 +0000
Subject: Re: SignWriting Is NOT A Language

SignWriting says
> Some South American native tribes to this day
> have no written form. One day they will and that form will NOT be a
> language, it will be representative of the language.

That's true, most of the tribes of south america (tupi-guarani, ona, mapuche, colla, aymara) had (and are now trying to preserve) their own languge. After colonization, their language was written by the spaniards using latin alphabet, transposing the sound of the languge in kind of fonological transcription of the native's language. Being my self someone who hears, I realized the gestured languages were languages by themselves when I knew that theASL is not the same of the Argentinian sign language or the brazilian sign language. In fact, they would need interpreters to translate. More about it is that writting gestured languages allows or makes easier to study the grammar of a guven signed language. (grammar that is different from the spoken language)

Diego Gonzalez Castanon
Psiquiatra y psicoanalista