forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Feb 10, 1999  8:58 pm
Subject:  Sign-Symbol-Sequence

On Thu, 4 Feb 1999 Richard Tennant wrote:
>Dear Val, Thank you for your most gracious reply to my questions concerning a
>proposed SW-English dictionary. I appreciate your offering the opportunity to
>display a manuscript of my proposed format on your website, but at 77 I do not
>have the stamina to undertake the amount of work and study such a production
>would entail.

>Actually, I am most interested in your alternate proposal. In an effort to
>understand it I would like to present the following prerequisites for
>constructing a "dictionary" for locating "things" .

>1. A need for a set of distinct categories into which each "thing" would be
>classified in one and only one category. The number of categories to be
>finite but sufficient to cause all "things" to be spread relatively thin among
>the categories.

February 10, 1999

Hello Richard - and thanks for the message. I have not forgotten it. I
think you are doing wonders at age 77! I have trouble keeping up with
everything at age 48 - ha!

In regards to the Sign-Symbol-Sequence...sometimes we are talking about the
same issues, and other times we are talking about apples and oranges. That
is partly because SignWriting is a movement writing system that is
"starting to be used in linguistics", but it is not a linguistically based
system. So we are coming from different professions, and then
"inter-blending". Which is kind of exciting actually...I am sure we can
always learn from each other!

In time I will have the full Sign-Symbol-Sequence up on our web site, but
it is a massive document, since it is also used for computer programming.
Our whole computer program is based on the Sequence. I know you already
have the SignWriter Computer Program, so when you type with SignWriter, you
are using the Sequence even though you may not realize it.

You can look at the first symbol in the Sign-Symbol-Sequence on this web page:


I only have one symbol up at the moment, but in time I will add the
hundreds more. As you can see, the one symbol is really 24 possible
positions, although there are even more than that, which I will explain on
the web later. So when I am talking about the Sign-Symbol-Sequence, I am
talking about the Sequence used for three things:

1. looking up by symbols in dictionaries, not just for signed languages but
also for gesture
2. how you find and type all those symbols when using the SignWriter
Computer Program
3. how the computer program stores and sorts all those symbols internally

So now I must ask you....above you mention the word "things" - I am not
sure what you mean by "things" you mean signs? Or perhaps you mean
"the symbols we use to write signs and gestures"?

Valerie ':-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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