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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Mar 20, 2000  6:33 pm
Subject:  Re: SignWriting as a gateway?

On 3/12/00, Charles Butler wrote:
>Folks, if you write fingerspelling, you are in fact wrting English in Sign
>Writing. No matter how you slice it, you have taken the English alphabet,
>an orthographic system for writing sounds and represented it in handshapes.
>Those handshapes when strung together form English words, ergo, that IS a
>Sign Written form of English. People, get over it, Sign Writing is a
>writing form, not English, nor ASL, nor anything else, it writes human

SignWriting List
March 20, 2000

Thanks Charles for this statement. Sometimes people ask me why we
write the fingerspelling symbols in the middle of a written Sign
document, when we could just write English letters?....

So I point out that we are not writing English. We are writing
movement. To stop the flow of reading the movements, and jerk the
reader into the Roman Alphabet all of a sudden, and then go back to
writing movement again would not only be unrealistic, it would miss
the point....We are writing how someone signs, and when people sign,
they do not stop their signing in mid-sentence and write the Roman
Alphabet, and then go back to signing again...they instead keep on
moving, and that is why in SignWriting we keep on writing SW
symbols...we are writing the movements.

I also point out that people who do not know the signed language
being written, are foreigners reading a language they do not know.
They will want to know how to physically produce the hand positions
used in fingerspelling in a foreign signed language.

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton


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