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From:  Stefan Woehrmann
Date:  Sun Oct 1, 2000  10:49 pm
Subject:  Re: cued speech and SW flash-cards

Hi Joe,

thank you for your echo !!

Reading your message the third time - I get the feeling, that I am not good
at explaining. I apologize ;-)
But Joe- I like the system and it seems to become a major improvement - So
I would like to explain it again.

Hm - you know - Iīm not a linguist and when I discussed this issue with
Valerie at the phone we had fun. Itīs funny to try to compare the sounds of
a language with the sounds of another language. When I offered my
face -symbols the first time I had the idea it might help to add english
words that would include sounds that come very close to the ones I had in my
mind. Valerie laughed aloud when I demonstrated my voiceless or voiced
sounds ha ha --
And she told me that many of my english examples wouldnīt fit !

Well - let me put it this way. If you close your mouth and "say" mmmmmmmm
while the air is streaming out of your nose - you can hear a sound - I call
it M - It is voiced - with voice . My students put their hands at my
larynx in order to feel the vibrations that occur.

Now let us look at the P - itīs a plosive- loud - you can do it only once -
the air is streaming out of your mouth if you open your lips - no e no a -
just this "voiceless " hard P, no vibrations at the larynx - I write the
streaming lines (constructed these faces myself with SW 4.3)

In contrary to that you have the soft B with sound - so no streaming
lines - but vibrations for a short time

same with T and D
same with K and G

Listen to your LLLL, NNNNN or A

what about S In German there is a voiced S and a sharp voiceless ss or ß

voiced S you feel the vibrations - therefore no streaming lines
voiceless sharp ss no vibrations but streaminglines

(I made a new gif - just in case it would help to understand)

My idea is to invent symbols that allow my kids to read out loud German
words without looking at the graphems. German isnīt spoken as it is written
and it sounds pretty strange to hearing ears if you articulate every "er" or
"E" or ... or ...

So what I try to do is to offer "signals" that help my students to remember
their triumph when they managed to perform a wonderfull "st" "ai" "au"
P(h) b(e) t(h) and so forth.

What really fascinates me most - itīs kind of fun - is that the whole group
accepts these faces as what I meant them to be - information about how to

I went on and wrote all the numbers from one to 20 with faces like these !
Puh - you canīt imagine how much the pronounciation improved - compared to
reading the German words of the numbers ! Itīs hard to believe -

The other point is that my son Johannes even reads completely unknown
sentences without any effort if they are written with these new signs. So -
it seems that Iīm on my way to create a wonderfull instrument ;-)

Thanks for your attention

Stefan ;-)

----- Original Message -----
From: joe martin
Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2000 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: cued speech and SW flash-cards

> Hi Stephan;
> I'm totally amazed by your work. (as usual) I've been thinking abut these
> face symbols, and I have a question. When I look at the mouth with air
> streaming out of it, to me that says "aspiration." Voicing seems to me to
> be associated with the vocal cords, as you describe with your "lock"
> and I think aspiration isn't important in German, just as it isn't in
> English??
> My viewpoint is that of a hearing linguist, so it is worlds away from what
> your "little teachers" are seeing. I remember having a terrible time
> figuring out what was meant by voiced/ voicless. Still, I wonder about
> this; do you use both the air and the lock symbol? Is it confusing to have
> air-out for voicing?
> Mostly, I'm just amazed at what you are accomplishing. Exciting, isn't
> Joe
> ----------------

  Replies Author Date
4006 SignWriting in TISLR presentations Valerie Sutton Tue  10/3/2000

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