forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Oct 26, 1998  2:17 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing SW Literature

October 26, 1998
Regarding the definition of the English word "transliteration"...I want to
thank everyone for your good discussions on this topic. There appears to be
many ways "to interpret" that word :-)

In regards to SignWriting....technically SW can write anything that moves -
so if what you are doing is a "transliteration", such as fingerspelling,
then SignWriting can write the movements of fingerspelling.

When people ask me if SignWriting is a "transliteration" my answer is that
it depends on the choice of the writer. SignWriting is is
like a lump of clay. You can mold it as you will.

And because of that flexibility, our Deaf Action Committee had to make
choices. When Lucinda Batch and I first began the DAC back in the
mid-1980's, we both decided we wanted to try to write "directly in ASL".

We have been attempting to write "directly in ASL" in two ways:

1. create ASL videos and transcribe them


2. ask a native signer in ASL, to write in SignWriting, directly in ASL,
without translating from English to ASL. This is hard, because native
signers have never written their native language before now, and all kinds
of issues pop up. For example, before now, native signers learned to read
and write their second language, English, before they learned to read and
write their first language, ASL. So in school they were required to "think
in English" when they sat and wrote something.

So "thinking in ASL", while writing, is a new experience.

Have a great Monday -

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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