forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Joe Martin
Date:  Sun May 16, 1999  4:35 am
Subject:  Re: learning to read

and also,
> One of the reasons we can read SignWriting at very small sizes is that
> certain "sign spellings" have become standardized, and our brains have
> memorized how they will be written. So reading at small sizes becomes
> when you have internalized how certain signs are "spelled".

and also, when we are good readers (but also unlike beginners) our brains
memorize the patterns. For example we can read chinese characters (well,
some people can ) even when the lines all run together so it just makes a
little blob. Our eyes recognize the outline of that blob.
SignWriting is very similar, and that is why I don't like the idea of
color coding *for skilled readers* It breaks up those outlines.
BUT those of us who are not good at it have to actually "see" each
character, with
all its parts, and then add them up to figure out what it is.
Color coding would likely help with this. I have never experimented with
it in Chinese, so I don't know.

The idea of coding the parts of speech, subject-object-verb-etc. sounds
like a really really good one. Once you know which of those is which you
can usually decipher sentences. But here we might be talking about a third
group, in between beginners who are learning to decode the individual
symbols, and skilled readers who are skimming over whole phrases at a

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