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From:  "Joseph A. Castronovo, Jr."
Date:  Thu Jul 2, 1998  3:17 pm
Subject:  Re: chironomy

Joe Martin, I agree with you, particularly on the definition for each
word: chironomy and chirography to show their difference.

I can give you an example of what I went through with the word:
DECIPHERMENT. Its original definition was related to phonetic study of
ancient, untranslated languages. I went on a long journey to find
something appropriate for the kind of "analysis" of ancient hand forms I
was doing. I ended up going back to DECIPHERMENT and placed a new
definition under the parent word. I make this more graphic and simple
such as...

1) Linear Decipherment 2) Spatial Decipherment
(phonetic) (non-phonetic)

A simple word, RUN, is a good example, which has several meanings.

The same thing can be done with 'chironomy' and particularly,

Valerie, I am not sure if SW should be categorzied as a 'chirographic
alphabet' because many signed notations in SW are not alphabetic.
A set of "printed manual alphabets" is one of many components within
the whole system of chirography as my dissertation indicated. It is just
like "ASL" having no mention of (manual) 'alphabets' on the 'label.'

I hope there will be additional comments to help 'polish' the label.


On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Joe Martin wrote:

> Charles;
> Hi; I like that term chironomy. Oxford English Dict. just says it
> means the science of in oratory. If we extend its meaning
> to include natural languages like ASL, then what do we call...(the
> original meaning)? Do you have a detailed reference for that word?
> Either way seems a stretch; the Kodaly method uses a gesture system, only
> very arguably a "language," so "chironomy" needs be
> extended to include natural languages like ASL. On the other hand, if
> talking about SignWriting as a notational system, since we are talking
> about writing, (-graphy meaning writing and all) maybe chirography
> would be a better choice?
> Maybe...Chironomy written either by chirography or computer?
> (primary signed languages like ASL, NSL, written by hand or PC.)
> .....or maybe not (~_~).
> Joe Martin
> _------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Charles Butler wrote:
> > The proper term is cheironomy, not cheirography. Cheirography is
> > handwriting, cheironomy is gesture language (as the word was used in the
> > 14th century). The word now means a gesture system indicating a musical
> > chant (such as the Kodali hand-sign system for solfeggio singing). So a
> > cheironomic alphabet is Sign Writing. Kodali would be a specific
> > application of cheironomy.
> >


  Replies Author Date
241 Dutch Museum Displays SignWriting Valerie Sutton Fri  7/3/1998

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