forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Ingvild Kristine Roald
Date:  Tue Nov 9, 1999  1:37 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing Spatial Relationships

On Monday, 8. Nov, Valerie wrote a reply to my message to the list.

I am aware that there are spelling rules, but they are not very
strict at the moment (that's why it takes longer to write a sign than
to read it - you have to figure out what's important). Also, as
someone else mentioned, the rules may vary somewhat from SL to SL
community. A rather large group of Norwegian signers wanted the
shoulders or the face to present in alomost all signs, and they also
wanted the 'simultanous' symbol not to be written unless that could
lead to a misunderstanding. Also, if the two hands move together as a
classifier, we will use only one movement arrow with the open
arrowhead, regardless of whether these two hands 'paint the same path'.

As I have understood it, all the different rules are subject to the
major rules: Signs should be easy to read, and not be misunderstood.

So the actual spelling rules will be modified as the writing of SLs
goes on.

This also pertains to some of the remarks made in the thesis
presently on the SW web site.

Best of luck to you all,

p.s I myself would have said that the top of the paper is the edge
where your front wall meets the ceiling. To imagine the paper to be
slanting and "transparent" makes sense to both the forward/backward and the
upward/ downward arrows.

> >This has to do with the lack of spelling rules (which will have to grow
> >out the actual use of the writing system) and the ability that
> >we as yeat lack to read the sign as a whole.
> >
> >All the best to everyone,
> >
> >Ingvild
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Note from Val: I am sending this message a second time, just in case the
> List didn't get it :-)
> November 8, 1999
> Good Morning Everyone - and Hello Ingvild!
> Thank you sooo much for your letter of support...I have been meaning to
> write to you - so sorry!
> And I certainly hope to have the time to prepare a lesson on some of the
> writing rules that do exist in the system right now...which I may not have
> shared with all of you properly....there are actually more writing rules
> than you may realize...
> In regards to the fact that "SignWriting Printing" (also called Stacked
> SignWriting) writes movement stemming from the center of the body, of
> course I am well aware that other writing systems do not do this. That is
> why SignWriting is so revolutionary. It is doing things never done before.
> I used to call it Stacked SignWriting because the symbols themselves are
> USUALLY in a stack (not always), but the more I worked with people the more
> I realized that they thought we were ALWAYS writing from top to bottom,
> when they saw the word "stacked", but that is not true! We are writing from
> the center of the body - there is a big difference.
> So because this way of writing is working so beautifully for Deaf readers
> around the world, and because it has become our "standard" for publishing
> ...I am going back to the term "SignWriting Printing", since it is the way
> we are printing literature now.
> And SW Printing does have writing rules relating to spatial relationships.
> To me, writing rules are not the same as "sign spellings"..."sign
> spellings" to me means one's choices of symbols etc, but there are still
> writing rules for writing spatial relationships in general - that is the
> Movement Writing system that is generic to all signed languages.
> In SW Printing, each sign is written from the signers point of view. The
> top of the page is the front wall. The bottom of the page is your "chest"
> or "back toward the signer". The hands are always placed at the "beginning
> stem of each arrow". That only makes sense from a visual point of view - in
> the beginning position of a sign, the fingers or hands need to be placed
> where the arrow begins, not at the end. The second position, if written, is
> placed at the end of the arrow.
> So that means that if you have an arrow pointing forward toward the top of
> the page, that the hand needs to be placed at the beginning of the arrow,
> near the chest......SW Printing does not place all signs in a "rock-solid"
> position ...because signed languages themselves change visually all the
> time...writing depth...close to the chest or far away from the chest, seems
> to be very important. The writing is just mirroring the way signed
> languages look in real life....that is why it is read quickly.
> Now in regards to writing other configurations....anyone can take the
> SignWriting symbols and place them in a non-visual string, and if you want
> to write it that way...that is still SignWriting - it is simply not the
> "visual form of writing" that most people prefer...
> Much more on this subject later! Meanwhile, as far as I can see, the
> attachments have stimulated wonderful discussions...and I think you all
> agree that it was worth the headaches! Just turn off your signature files,
> when you send attachments - that is important!
> Have a wonderful day everyone!
> Val ;-)
Ingvild Kristine Roald
Reseach fellow, Department of Applied Education
University of Bergen, N-5020 BERGEN, Norway
Department phone: +47 55 58 48 30
Department fax: +47 55 58 48 80
Private phone: +47 55 28 34 34

  Replies Author Date
2242 Re: Writing Spatial Relationships Valerie Sutton Tue  11/9/1999
2243 Re: Writing Spatial Relationships Valerie Sutton Tue  11/9/1999
2244 Re: Writing Spatial Relationships Valerie Sutton Tue  11/9/1999

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