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From:  Susanne Bentele
Date:  Fri Jun 30, 2000  8:30 am
Subject:  Re: standardized spellings

>At 7:06 PM +0200 6/29/00, Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
>>Nevertheless it would be a tremendous help if linguists would offer a
>>special set of systematic patterns - the learner could find his way to this
>>new language much better instead of doing this analysis all on his own.
>SignWriting List
>June 29, 2000
>Stefan - It may be that the research group at the University of
>Hamburg, in Germany, has done such research? Susanne is on the SW
>List...perhaps she can inform us about the linguistic research that
>has already been established on German Sign Language (DGS)?
>How do you know what is good DGS and what is not in your school? Do
>you have books on DGS?

hi all -
i wish i had more time to read what's going on on the SW-list more
thoroughly... right now i am buried in work... :-/

anyway, the spelling issue is a very interesting one and i have read
most of the discussion. right now i am working on the (hamnosys-)
transcriptions for the new technical dictionary (only 393 more to go
:-)) that is being compiled at the moment, and i think about spelling
a lot. yes, stefan, it would be wonderful to have a set of systematic
patterns... unfortunately we're not that far....

here in hamburg there is a group of deaf and hearing linguists
working on the issue of DGS grammar and phonology. the have been
talking about movement patterns and sets and have a few good ideas
but these are not published yet as the work is not completely
finished. i think it will be another year or so before we get to see
any results... but until then i think all of us will be doing fine,
even if we're all using our own spelling which maybe only spreads in
our field of work (i.e. yours in osnabrueck, mine in hamburg and
angus' in new mexico....). i think it doesn't really matter as long
as we're understood and the system is 'writable'.

for hamnosys, for example, there are pretty much set rules as to what
symbols come in which order and still there is much room for
'idiosyncratic spelling'. i see a transcription from someone in our
insitute and very often i can tell exactly who wrote it... i have my
very own system which i use for the dictionary too, but there is no
standard. and it works.

(i have to say, however, that i would love standardized spelling - it
would be so easy to find things in a dictionary, signs could be
ordered accordingly and even if the actual productions differs from
person to person (we all know how flexible handshapes are handled -
no pun intended - sometimes) - if we knew how it was 'correctly'
spelled we would easily find it.)

so much from me - back to work.... ;-)

Susanne Bentele
Universität Hamburg
Institut für Deutsche Gebärdensprache und Kommunikation Gehörloser
University of Hamburg
Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf
Binderstr. 34
20146 Hamburg - Germany
Tel.: ++49-40-428.38-6734
Geschäftszimmer: ++49-40-428.38-6737
ST: ++49-40-428.38-6738
Fax: ++49-40-428.38-6109
P.S. Don't forget to visit the Hunger Site today and every day.
Every time you do you feed a few hungry people somewhere in the world.

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