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From:  Stefan Woehrmann
Date:  Thu Jun 29, 2000  5:51 pm
Subject:  Re: standardized spellings

----- Original Message -----
From: Angus B. Grieve-Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: standardized spellings

> > Actually the real reason why I bring the standardized spelling issue
> > up is that I got the feeling that people wanted dictionaries that told
> > them how to write signs. I started to feel pressured to give everybody
> > everything immediately.
> I'd guess that that was mostly people who didn't know SignWriting
> well? My guess is that if they felt confident in their own spellings,
> they wouldn't need to get received spellings from you. But maybe you're
> right, and they just want to get it from an authority.
> Again, I think dictionaries can be very useful, and I encourage
> people to create them. I just would be unhappy if I saw people pointing
> to dictionaries and telling people not to sign or write a certain way. Or
> worse, telling people that they are lazy or stupid because they spell a
> certain way.


Hello Valerie , Angus and everybody on the list.

This spelling issue is very much on my mind.
Well I guess that I am one of them

" people wanted dictionaries that told that told them how to write signs.. I
started to feel pressured to give everybody everything immediately."

I am so sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable :-(

Perhaps I can explain another aspect of this. SW is not writing
dictionaries. SW is writing movements. We agree on this - no problem I
Writing movements and reading these movement discriptions can lead to an
exchange of messages. The notator has a tool to describe sufficient precicly
the movement so that he or the informed reader would be able to imagine how
to repeat this movement. Itīs almost like speaking a new word in German you
never heard before. Looking at the spelling you are pretty much able to
pronounce it although you have no idea about its meaning.
The crucial point to me is that the beginner in any writing system has got
to learn about the rules, the standards, the meaning of the elements which
help to express the movement . That is the reason that the inventor tries to
explain his ideas and concepts in a variety of teaching materials ( Your
text and workbook is simply great. The book of the Parkhursts in Spain is
simply great. And Iīm sure that some day we will offer a German version that
helps people to understand the essentials of SW as well !!)
So people like me - who are so fascinated by this system need to know the
basics . I need to know the differences in interpreting and writing
different movement-symbols.
The problem is that all of us canīt sit in a classroom - waiting for the
expert to come in order to ask personally what makes us feel uncomfortable -
just because my own map of the possibilities of SW isnīt developed enough.
Isnīt it simply great that we can ask now via internet for support and
additional teaching-lessons ?

I think we should distinguish between two things:

a) - writing and spelling movements that describe signs of a special SL
b) - writing and spelling movements

If I want to show / describe how to move my right hand upward indexfinger
up - there are possibilities to write it wrong !

To avoid this - it could be very very helpfull to agree upon a special set
of standards. Otherwise SW would not serve as a tool to transcribe the
movements that are typically performed in SL.

That could be a reason to learn about the special elements that describe a
movement and the facial expression and dynamic, location, repetition , stop,
handshape - and whenever there is a new problem - I simply think that SW
should offer a possibility to express /describe this special aspect - - and
I feel lucky to know you (Valerie ) .

In my case - it has been soooooo important to feel more familiar with this
system. You canīt expect parents and students to agree with such a new idea
(" remember - there is no writing system for SL " ,-) )
if you yourself arenīt convinced that it could work.

So to offer special standards for writing well defined movements is a
tremendous help for everybody who is interested in this wonderfull tool for
writing movements that can express meaning within the background of a
special SL.

Stefan ;-)

  Replies Author Date
3691 Re: standardized spellings Valerie Sutton Fri  6/30/2000
3696 Re: standardized spellings Valerie Sutton Fri  6/30/2000

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