forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  "Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Date:  Wed Jul 5, 2000  5:55 pm
Subject:  Re: Lucky

On Wed, 5 Jul 2000, Bill Reese wrote:

> Less "difficulty" learning a language?!?

Whoa, Bill. I was talking about the difficulty of learning
SignWriting, the writing system, not ASL the language. I believe that the
children who are now learning SignWriting intuitively in fifth grade will
soon have a much better grasp of it than we do, who are learning it
analytically as adults.

But in response to your message...

I don't have a problem with anyone trying to write down what
people actually do, and for learners to use those descriptions. But I do
have a problem with people criticizing native speakers for not following
those descriptions.

> What I would like to see would be an all-inclusive sign dictionary in
> signwriting that would allow me not only to obtain a command of that
> language but also the understanding and study of it, the same way
> spoken language dictionaries do it now.

I think that would be great. Up to now there has never been a
monolingual (Webster's-type) dictionary of any signed language. Creating
one would be a monumental undertaking, but it would be nearly impossible
without using some sort of writing system.

-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
Linguistics Department
University of New Mexico

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