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From:  Joe Martin
Date:  Sat Feb 12, 2000  1:42 am
Subject:  Re: Writing Hearing Person's Gestures


> SignWriting List
> February 11, 2000
> Hi Joe -
> Thanks for this question. I assume you are referring to writing
> hearing person's gestures?
> As you know that was the first thing recorded in SignWriting back in
> 1974 at the University of Copenhagen. Lars von der Lieth and his
> research group at the University hired me to sit in front of a
> videotape machine and record the difference between hearing and Deaf
> people's gestures - it was really more like writing body language in
> many cases, when it came to hearing people.
> So in other words, yes...SignWriting could be applied to writing the
> body language that accompanies spoken languages, but the question
> is...who would want it? smile...

David McNeil's research lab at the University of Chicago comes immediately
to mind. There is currently a lot of interest in "gesture studies" now,
largely due to his pioneering work. "Gesture" in this case refers only to
those physical movements that accompany speech. McNeil has shown how
these are inseparably linked to speech, in our brains. (Even blind people
gesture when they speak.) Susan Goldin-Meadow and her
colleagues have even shown how a teacher can tell, from these gestures,
whether or not a student understands a particular concept. It's all very
interesting, and there is a lot of work being done on it. All that stuff
has to be transribed somehow, but I've not seen any reference to
Signwriting. Not yet, anyway.

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