Date: Sun Oct 24, 1999 3:11
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: From Linguistics to Animation...
Cecilia Flood wrote:
>The second example of reading signs as whole units with not all that
>much attention to all sign parts...is the repeated 'reading' of a sign
>that occurs in the SW materials about Goldilocks and the three bears'
>'walking ventures'! Several students read the sign 'walk' but articulate
>that sign with the two handed 'three' handshapes rather than the closed
>palms as the sign is written. They don't seem to be bothered by the
>handshape difference signed and printed. Some mis-reading of signs like
>'run' and 'friend', 'hot' and 'mad', also demonstrates reading
>'parts'...handshapes and placement but no attending to movement or
>contact symbols yet.
October 24, 1999
By the way...what are the age of your kids? Are they as young as age 6?
In regards to the second example above, this brings up some pretty
interesting questions...I believe you are talking about the sign for "walk"
which Darline wrote as flat hands, moving back and forth in the motion for
And your students would substitute another handshape...namely the "three
handshape"? Does that sign with the "three handshape" have another meaning?
Does it have an "awkward walking" meaning? I do not know ASL that well...
When hearing people read aloud, they oftentimes do not read the sentence
"exactly" as it is written - but I tend to make sure students really read
what is written on the page if possible, so they are made aware that a
different handshape really does make a difference....and that they are not
Actually what I meant when I talked about reading "units" was not
"confusing signs" but reading the units correctly - ha!
The mistakes are good ones though - the handshapes are similar in "friend
and run", and the same with "hot and mad". You are right - they are not
reading the movement symbols immediately, but they are reading the
handshapes immediately -
The movement symbols and contact symbols DO have to be learned, so since
they are reading handshapes so well, then I guess that is where to focus -
I believe Lourdes mentioned that she had to learn the movement symbols
But an interesting point for the linguists (grin)... although movement
symbols have to be learned (because they are more abstract), it does not
mean they are necessarily hard to learn, or take a long time to learn...If
they are explained well, and the person has some time to read literature
and really use them, they are learned quickly. Strangely enough SOME people
read them without training - it seems to vary depending on the person... I
myself am not quite sure why - I believe it comes from an innate spatial
awareness that some people have developed, or perhaps were born with...
Basically, to understand the movement symbols, you need to remove yourself
from the world of signed languages, and see movement for "movement's sake",
relating to planes, walls and floors, and then go back to signed language,
and "apply" them to that world.
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA