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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Oct 15, 1999  1:08 pm
Subject:  Re: blending writing systems...

>What I like about the Stokoe system is it's simplicity in writing and it
>might be easier to organize signs in a dictionary using his notation
>system, but using SW for the actual words or signs? Pastor Ronald

>I think that's a great idea, as from what I know about SignWriting (- yes,
>Valerie, I have actually started learnig! - ) you cannot order signs in a
>sort of 'alphabetical' way, which you can in Stokoe or HamNoSys, for
>example. Susanne

October 15, 1999

Hello Susanne and Ron and Everyone!
I am glad to know you are learning SignWriting, Susanne, and I admire you
learning all these systems!

And perhaps, Ron, you may not realize the many sides to SignWriting, just
as other systems have many sides too....

And before I go on, I want you both to know that I have complete respect
for the other systems - I personally would rather not blend them, but on
the other hand, maybe Chinese is looked-up by the Roman alphabet in China?
I do not know their history.

But now, having said that, actually the above statement is not true,
Susanne. (Of course I realize that there was no way for you to know

We do have a Sign-Symbol-Sequence, which I have been working on for 20
years now.. I am planning to do an article about it on the web, and you
know me (grin)...I haven't gotten to it yet - ha!!

So let me give you some details....The issues that you both bring up
(sequence and shorthand) have been published books in the 1980s: "Sutton's
Sign-Symbol-Sequence", "SignWriting Shorthand" and "SignWriting
Handwriting" are three books that became out-of-date, so the only reason
you are not using the Shorthand right now, or the Sequence right now, is
because I have not gotten to re-writing the books. You can find one portion
of the Handwriting book online:

Learn To Write SignWriting by Hand
Lesson 1: Return to Basics

Learn To Write SignWriting by Hand
Lesson 2: SW Block Printing, Flat Hand

In regards to looking signs up by sign-symbols....let me give you an
example....We worked on a dictionary between Danish Sign Language and
American Sign Language years ago, that had no spoken language in the entire
book, so obviously if we could look up DSL to get ASL and ASL to get
DSL...we had to have a way to sort by sign symbols!! There is information
on the web:

Information on Shorthand Book
& Danish-American Dictionary

We also have a short dictionary looked up by Sequence on the web:

ASL-English Picture Dictionary

When you go to the above page, you will notice that the signs are not
sorted by English words. Instead they are sorted by hands that use the
Index Finger, and as you go through the pages, you will see that there are
categories for looking signs up by Sutton's Sequence.

I hope to publish a book on Sutton's Sign-Symbol-Sequence it in the Spring.
We have two that is "language specific" and one I call the
"Generic Sequence", which looks up by body movement, and not necessarily
signed languages.

As you know, Michael Everson and I are working on a new project "Encoding
SignWriting in the Universal Character Set (Unicode)".

You can read about the project on these two pages:

Short Project Description

Encoding SignWriting
in the Universal Character Set
by Michael Everson

The reason I bring this up, is that the Unicode project is stimulating me
to use the Generic sequence, since it will be applicable to all signed

And I plan to place the Generic Sequence on our new SignBank site, to give
people a complete listing of how the Sequences function.


So, now that you know all this (grin)...I suspect all systems can do
everything - they just do them differently!!

Best -

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton

SignWritingSite...Lessons Online

SignBankSite...Databases Online

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

  Replies Author Date
1946 Re: blending writing systems... Susanne Bentele Fri  10/15/1999
1947 Re: blending writing systems... Valerie Sutton Fri  10/15/1999

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