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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Feb 6, 2000  11:23 pm
Subject:  Re: Help available to develop a LUC ?


Marc Bode wrote:
> When I first heard, that even the signed language is not
>international, I was quite disappointed. But this fact even more
>requests the availability of a LUC!
>With LUC you could write for example in American SignWriting and
>read/print in German SignWriting (or get an output in Chinese or
>what ever you want).
>Referring to Stuarts question:
>1. UNICODE is just a 16-bit-code for single letters/signs, which are
>LANGUAGE-DEPENDENT !
>2. LUC is LANGUAGE-INDEPENDENT ! and (as plans are, 32-bit or
>flexible, which has to be worked out)

-----------------------------

SignWriting List
February 6, 2000

Thank you for this message Marc...sorry to hear you have not yet
received the SignWriting packet...I sent it air mail on January 28th,
so hopefully you will receive it soon.

The confusion people oftentimes have, in regards to SignWriting, is
that they assume SignWriting is a "universal language". But actually
SignWriting is not a language...it is just an alphabet that can be
used to write signed languages that existed long before SignWriting
was invented.

So technically, there is no "American SignWriting"..instead there is
American Sign Language, which is a naturally evolved signed language
used by Deaf people. SignWriting can be used to write American Sign
Language, but the language itself exists whether SignWriting was ever
invented or not...

Actually I suspect that you are really looking for something like
Bliss Symbols, which is a visual "concept writing" system. And the
Unicode specialist who is working with placing SignWriting into
Unicode, Michael Everson, who is a member of the SignWriting List, is
also working with the inventors of Bliss Symbols. So I would suggest
that you communicate with Michael about that...

In regards to signed languages...it is important that they remain
individual languages, since each signed language is rich with its own
grammar and structure, its own folklore and culture - so the concept
of an international signed language is a mistake from the hearing
world...Hearing people got the misunderstanding that the purpose of
signed languages was to be an "international language". But actually
the purpose of signed languages is for day-to-day communication
between Deaf people in a local area. Why would a Deaf person in
Chile, use the same signed language as a Deaf person in Malaysia?
They would never have contact with each other so their cultures and
languages are not the same.

But Bliss Symbols is not based on any spoken or signed language...or
any culture for that matter. Instead it was developed I believe for
people who cannot communicate any other way, and Michael Everson has
told me a little about it...and I think it is fascinating...they have
structure and sentences too...but all based on visual "concept
symbols"...

Because I am so busy working with the signed languages of the world,
it is not possible for me personally to become involved with a new
project...but i certainly think your idea is a good one and I hope
you can keep working on it! And I hope that SignWriting will be
useful to you too ;-)

Many thanks for writing...and keep us informed!
Val ;-)

------------------------------------

Valerie Sutton


SignWritingSite
http://www.SignWriting.org

SignWriting List Archive
http://www.egroups.com/group/sw-l/

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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