|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Fri May 19, 2000 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: Lessons In Sign Language Transcription
May 19, 2000
LESSONS IN SIGN LANGUAGE TRANSCRIPTION
Below is an excerpt from this web page:
by Valerie Sutton
SIGNWRITING BEGAN WITH VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION
To learn to transcribe Sign Language videos, you first need to
understand the structure of SignWriting and how the system developed.
The writing system has no connection to any signed language. To write
signs from video, you do not have to know their meaning. In fact, to
record pure movement, you are actually at a disadvantage if you know
what the signs mean. Signers can become so interested in what is
being said, that they forget to write what they see!
Since SignWriting is a "generic" movement writing system, not
associated with any one signed language, it becomes a tool for
beginning Sign Language students, to record signs they do not know.
Researchers can write signing styles and mime-like gestures they have
never seen before.
FIRST SIGNWRITING VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION PROJECT 1974
SignWriting began with a video transcription project at the
University of Copenhagen. Lars von der Lieth, Jan Enggaard, and other
researchers, wanted to record hearing person's gestures, and compare
them to Deaf people's gestures.
The research group asked me to view a videotape for three months. It
was a very interesting video, with hearing people doing movements
many hearing people take for granted, when speaking. The video also
included Deaf people doing movements I had never seen before. That
was the beginning of SignWriting. I developed a way to write signs,
from viewing and studying several videotapes. See Figure 1 attached.
I did not know Danish Sign Language at that time. In fact, I knew
nothing about signed languages. This was very fortunate, since from
that original video transcription project, SignWriting evolved to
record any signed language in the world, or any mime-like gesture.
Please see Figure 1: