forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Marie Alexander
Date:  Wed Jun 10, 1998  12:45 pm
Subject:  Hello from Marie Alexander and the Maltese Sign Language Project

I joined your group a wee while ago and I would now like to introduce myself.
I am the executive director of the Institute of Linguistics at the University
of Malta. I am a linguist but have recently decided that as I am unlikely to
live for ever (!) I need to focus on Maltese Sign Language which has been
developing very fast the last 15 years or so. There is a great deal one could
say about the deaf community in Malta...but I will resist.

After a visit to Professor Bencie Woll at City University London, I decided we
needed signwriting that's how this all started. I subsequently wrote
in with this question:
I would appreciate it if anyone can tell me whether signwriting is used
expressively only by deaf users and receptively only by researchers. Is it not
very confusing for deaf researchers then?
I am still struggling with signwriting... I would appreciate some
advice. The study of Maltese Sign Language is only just beginning. Maltese
Sign Language is only now gaining recognition even by the Maltese deaf
themselves. It is not yet used extensively in education and not at all beyond
primary education since the majority of children are in the mainstream. Of
course it is a vicious circle. It started being used in education once it
gained some recognition. It is still a very young language (since the deaf did
not previously come together as a community after school) but it is responding
very fast to the demands made on it.
I would like not to have two ways of signwriting - but need to stay in
touch with the rest of the world if possible (maybe that is rather ambitious!).
Perhaps my question arises from limited understanding? Can anyone help?

Marie Alexander
Institute of Linguistics
University of Malta
Msida MSD 06
Malta (Europe)

  Replies Author Date
199 New SW History Video Valerie Sutton Wed  6/10/1998
200 Maltese Sign Language Valerie Sutton Wed  6/10/1998
202 Expressive World Standard Valerie Sutton Wed  6/10/1998

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