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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Aug 23, 1999  5:00 pm
Subject:  Re: sign writing principles?

>to write sign language you have to write down quite a few
>aspects. a spatial relation, a facial expression AND a movement.
>so it seems to me that the construction of a system to put all these
>on paper must be much more sophisticated than a numer of letters
>you can put in a row to form words and sentences.
>that is, what makes me think writing sign language must be
>more difficult than writing spoken language.
>Martin "Lolly" Lorenz


August 23, 1999

Hello Martin and Everyone -

As I read your conversations about what is harder to write....signed
languages or spoken languages?.....I thought of this...

What if it were reversed, and spoken languages were the minority languages?
Imagine a world run by signed languages. For example, English is oftentimes
used as an international business language today - well - imagine if
English had never been written, but ASL had a written form for centuries....

I suspect that all of us would be typing email in written ASL right now,
pondering the problem of trying to place sounds as written symbols on paper

A lot of what seems easy, and what seems hard, is based on the inventions
that came before us....I think, Martin, that one of the reasons programming
the typing of signed languages seems hard to you, is simply that our world
is not "setup for it automatically". Computers were originally designed to
type the Roman alphabet and similar symbols - so to type visual languages,
the whole "setup" has to change - and that is when it becomes complicated.

Sometimes what was invented before, doesn't always fit well with new ideas,
and so new ways of approaching the issue have to be devised and
re-thought....which creates a shift in thinking...which is what you are
contemplating now...

Valerie ;-)

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