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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Nov 8, 1999  3:45 pm
Subject:  Re: Axial stationary movement "Reverse, opposite"

>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,


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 ;-)

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