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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Jun 26, 2000  12:59 am
Subject:  Re: phonetic and phonemic spelling


>Yes, you are right. You know Deaf have something we call "Deaf spelling."

>Anyways, again, my 4 cents worth! Enough, I'll shut up now haha!

SignWriting List
June 25, 2000

Oh...don't ever shut up, Nancy! Your messages are great and very true...

And actually I bring the phonetic and phonemic issue up for another
reason. Dr. Karen van Hoek is a hearing linguist who has worked with
American Sign Language and has also worked with SignWriting over the

Karen is skilled in SignWriting Handwriting for writing signs
quickly. We call it "Cursive SignWriting".

So in other words, SignWriting can be written in four different ways...

For those who have known me for many years, you may remember I had a
flyer that said: "Four Ways Of Writing Signs"? That was back in 1981
- 1984, I believe. I handed the flyer out in every presentation, and
we would discuss the four ways of writing signs....

The flyer showed the same sentence in American Sign Language written
in four different ways:

1. Detailed SignWriting (phonetic writing for research etc)
2. SignWriting Printing (the everyday way we type or write block SW
symbols by hand)
3. Cursive SignWriting (handwriting for ourselves or friends who can
read our handwriting - ha!)
4. SignWriting Shorthand (for professional stenographers - like court
stenography for court cases in Sign Language)

I was thinking of creating a new flyer like that again, because I
think it shows how versatile SignWriting is....

So when Stefan and I were analyzing every small detail of a spelling
for a sign, we were choosing to be phonetic about it...we were using
the "Detailed SignWriting".

But when Charles wrote his Irish Blessing poem in ASL, Charles was
using SignWriting Printing, which is not quite as detailed - it is
more phonemic and assumes some knowledge of the language being

And now, Karen and I are working on a new book on Cursive SignWriting
- which definitely assumes knowledge of the language being written.
It leaves out a lot of details. But that doesn't matter, because it
is used informally....for your own notetaking...

The Cursive SignWriting booklet will not be ready for awhile - Karen
is the author, but I have a lot of work to gather all the possible
symbols together in a listing....Karen left for a summer trip sending
me her notes, and I will go over them...

My last message for today too!!

Many blessings -

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton


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