forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Jun 18, 1999  8:31 pm
Subject:  Re: Phonemic way of writing

On Fri, 18 Jun 1999 Susanne Bentele wrote:
>acutally it's good to see that other people with other writing systems are
>faced with the same criticism and the same problems...! HamNoSys is always
>said to be way to phonetic (and in a way it is and must be for the purpose
>it's been designed for). I was surprized to read that this was the case for
>SignWriting, too! I wouldn't have thought....
>So there is hope... :-) It's a very fascinating development to watch, I

Hi Susanne -
Thanks for this message. I think it is great that HamNoSys was designed to
be phonetic, and if that is the case, then any criticism on being "too
phonetic" is unfounded. You have accomplished your goal!

In regards to SignWriting, I was asked to develop it for accuracy back in
1974, at the University of Copenhagen. So it definitely started out

But then...I decided to change...I wanted to be flexible and to "see what
happens" if native signers wrote their respective languages around the
world. I wanted it to become more than the equivalent to the International
Phonetic Alphabet. So I chose to share the writing system with native
signers, and then record the changes taking place...creating new textbooks
based on the new way of writing. It has been exhausting but well worth it!
And there is no question that it has evolved in a relatively natural
fashion over the years and looks quite different now than it did in
Copenhagen in 1974.

For those who are interested in the history of SignWriting, you can read
nine articles on our web site:

History of SignWriting

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton


The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

  Replies Author Date
1504 Re: Phonemic way of writing Joe Martin Tue  6/22/1999
1506 Re: Phonemic way of writing Valerie Sutton Tue  6/22/1999
1505 Re: Phonemic way of writing Bill Reese Tue  6/22/1999
1516 Re: Phonemic way of writing Valerie Sutton Thu  6/24/1999

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