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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Jun 30, 2000  3:46 pm
Subject:  Re: JSL video

At 4:47 AM -0700 6/30/00, Joe Martin wrote:
regarding facial expressions and if they are necessary...
>My feeling was, no, for the second one, and for the first one, kinda. That
>is, the guy is looking down, then he looks up, raises his hands and begins
>to speak. A normal expression to accompany such an activity would be a
>sort of "OK, here I go" look, which would include raised eyebrows. It
>seems to me that this is what happened here, rather than a topic marker.

SignWriting List
June 30, 2000

Dear List Members, and Joe!

Joe, your SignWriting is really good...I am impressed with how much
you wrote in columns - that was an exciting document ;-)

In regards to writing facial expressions, of course you are probably
right that the raised eyebrows were not a true "topic marker"...that
is a linguistic term, and since I am not a linguist, I probably used
the terminology incorrectly ;-)

However...there were eyebrows raised in the beginning of the
sentence....from a "purely movement" point of view...

So in regards to writing facial expressions....these are my feelings...

When we have a conversation with someone, we look at their face
first...really...we do...whether you realize it or not. Meanwhile, it
appears from what I can tell, Deaf children are reading the facial
expressions well...

I am only guessing, but I believe to make "truly fluent Sign
readers", which means reading pages and pages of pure Sign Language,
where the reader thinks like a fluent signer, where there is no
spoken language from beginning to those circumstances....
the facial expressions will be the key to tapping that "fluent
reading skill" - But that is just my hunch of course...all this is

For us to create documents that offer good literature to fluent Sign
readers, we have to try to write more facial expressions...even if
right now we are not sure what is important and what is not important.

I agree with you that the first sign was not putting heavy emphasis
on the facial expression - but it was there nonetheless, and I
suspect that in a conversation we do see those facial matter how small they are.

Therefore I am in an experimental stage with writing facial expressions...

And I am asking you to share in my experiment if you are interested...

Even if you think the facial expressions are insignificant, try
writing each sign focused around a Facial Circle. Please see the
attached diagram. You will see that the Facial Circle can be used to
anchor the center of signs written in a column, giving us an
excellent way of showing signs produced to the side of the body etc...

As you continue to write, through experience, certain Facial
Expressions will emerge as more important than others. But rather
than skipping them, instead write most of them right now, and then
later we can look at our writing to see what seems important and what
seems unimportant:
Type: image/gif
Size: 1k

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