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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Feb 24, 2000  3:22 pm
Subject:  Writing the sign for "Deaf" in ASL

On 2/21/00, Ingrid Foggitt wrote:
>They want to know:
>did Cindy make a mistake in the SW of `Deaf'? That is because `Deaf'
>has two contact points and not one as shown on the video. I would
>also like to know this.


SignWriting List
February 24, 2000

Smile. No...Cindy did not make a mistake...all three of us who worked
on the video felt that the sign for "Deaf" was written properly.

Below I have attached a diagram showing 5 possible "SW spellings" for
the same sign for "Deaf".

All of them are correct too...

And of course, in time certain "spellings" will become standardized.
But at the moment, people write the sign for "Deaf" in several
different ways, and we all read them anyway!

You see...SignWriting has many symbols, and it is up to the writer to
decide what is important and what is not important. If a sign cannot
be read without the detail of two contact stars, then by all means,
go ahead and write two contact stars..

But if a sign cannot be confused by taking one contact star
away...then it is OK to drop the second contact star.

For example, in Denmark years ago they decided to only write contact
stars when it is absolutely necessary....and since the sign for
"Deaf" is oftentimes signed without any real contact to the face, and
since the position of the hand makes it clear that the sign starts up
higher and then touches down lower - we just accepted that spelling...

So the writing system is flexible....
Type: image/gif
Size: 2k

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