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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Mar 5, 2001  3:19 pm
Subject:  writing Sign grammar

>I do write DGS - phrases as well - but as a hearing person I have to wait
>for the "ok" of a competent deaf signer - and all of us are pretty busy ....
>Well we are going to have to workshops here in Germany in May and June
>(Learn to read SW and Learn to write SW) There are some deaf signers who
>showed their interest for participation - so time will come that they
>themselves will start to write their own texts in their own language written
>in SW. We will post that of course as soon as the literature will be
>available ;-) Stefan ;-)

SignWriting List
March 5, 2001

Hello Everyone, and Stefan!

Thanks for this response. What a wonderful transition you are
making...the workshops in May and June with the Deaf community should
really be helpful, in regards to writing the grammar of German Sign

As a hearing person, I am in the same position....not being native to
American Sign Language, I only write ASL based on ANOTHER person's
signing of it. The Learn To Read ASL in SignWriting books and videos,
for example, were all transcribed from I personally
never determined what "good ASL" is... I just wrote what the native
signer signed.

Ironically, Stefan, I found through experience that not all native
signers automatically write their own grammar correctly in
SignWriting. Why? Because they went to hearing schools, or to schools
where the spoken language of the country was the only written form,
and when they sit down to write something, their school days come
back in their memory. "Writing meant spoken language" when they went
to school....

So I found that even for native signers, it helps to try to write
what is on a videotape, and through that process the grammar starts
getting on paper and then rules can develop in the classroom. It is
hard to see oneself...facial expressions are so automatically a part
of signed languages that signers oftentimes do not realize how
meaningful they are...and they forget to write them....even though
they use them daily.

Congratulations on your progressing work!

Val ;->


Valerie Sutton


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