forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Jul 4, 1999  1:50 pm
Subject:  Re: Responses to a variety of issues

>The solution for Chinese was to encode pairs of symbols and have special
>programs to put them together and produce the composite symbol. That way,
>fewer than 300,000 Unicode slots are needed.
>SignWriting won't have as many symbols in its "alphabet" of signs, but will
>have to do something similar to combine the pieces into a composite symbol.
>Hope this helps,
>-- Greg Noel, retired UNIX guru


This is fascinating, Greg. Chinese is an older writing system, and so there
are volumes of written literature in Chinese to study, to determine the
pairs of symbols that are commonly used in Chinese.

SignWriting is very new in each country. The Nicaraguans have quite a
number of published stories written in Nicaraguan Sign Language, and we
have some in ASL, and I know Spain has poetry etc., but we don't have that
much written literature yet, since the writing system is only 25 years old.

Without a lot of written literature to study, it may be hard to pin down
the "pairs of symbols" that are used to write hundreds of signed languages
- we type each symbol individually in the SignWriter Computer Program,
without analyzing the "pairs of symbols", since each signed language uses
the symbols differently.

But this will be a fascinating study - it borders on linguistic research...

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

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