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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Jul 24, 1998  1:32 pm
Subject:  ASL Handshape Dictionary

July 24, 1998

Hello Everyone -
Richard Tennant, a member of the SignWriting List, was kind enough to send
me a copy of his new book which has just been released. It is entitled the
"American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary". Richard co-authored the
dictionary with Marianne Gluszak Brown. It is an attractive hard-cover
volume and I am most pleased to have it as a part of my library.

Here is information about the publication:

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 09:35:34 EDT
To: SignWriting List
Subject: dictionary

I am writing you to call your attention to a recent publication of Gallaudet
University Press: "American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary", a unique and
long wished for two-way dictionary for sign language.

Many Sign language dictionaries in the past have relied on alphabetizing
English glosses to order the sign illustrations they represent, causing
frequent repetition of illustrations and leading students to perceive signs as
some sort of a code for English rather than the elements of an independent
language. In contrast, this handshape dictionary displays the illustrations
of signs in a morphological order based upon the initial handshape(s) used in
rendering the sign, without regard to any particular English gloss. This
order is a logical combination of alphabet and number that is quickly
understood and applied.

Appearing with each illustration are the applicable glosses as well as
directions for properly rendering the sign. A sign that has been observed but
not understood can easily be located using this arrangement without knowing
its English meaning.. In another section of the book, an index of English
words and phrases quickly locate the illustration needed to express that idea
in sign These two sections, then, make this resource a truly Sign-English,
English-Sign dictionary for the bi-directional translation needed in the study
of any language.

Signs employing the same handshape(s), therefore, appear together and are
consistantly ordered in each category by location and movement. Glosses
applying to the same sign all appear together with each illustration. One who
has worked in this field can quickly see the advantage of this organization
and readily conceive of applications of this reference in classroom

All three bookstores on the web are offering this dictionary at a discounted
price. Some are presenting the favorable reviews it has already earned. We
believe you will enjoy examining this attractive and compact book in your
bookstore or library and will wish to have one in your personal library as
well as in the hands of every student of sign language.


Richard Tennant


Valerie {:-)


Visit the SignWritingSite:

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax

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