Date: Thu Nov 5, 1998 5:05
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: A general ASL question
>My views have not changed concerning people who do not know a language
>setting themselves up as "teachers" of that language. As we know, in our
>society, that doesn't happen with spoken languages, but it does happen
>with ASL. I had expected to get some support for this view from people on
>It would be great to continue this discussion, but directed responses to
>me individually rather than to the list.
I thought your message was fine and very interesting and you made some good
You were responding to a question about ASL and not SignWriting. We all
know that SignWriting itself is not a philosophy of teaching ASL at
all...it is just a way to write down movement. So technically our list is
not an ASL list. We actually have people recording Nicaraguan Sign Language
and Japanese Sign Language and British Sign Language on this list, and
sometimes ASL seems to be the only focus and that is not the point of the
list really....this has been a problem for me lately. There have been
people complaining to me privately that we discuss ASL too much!
But be that as it may...it is hard for people to distinguish between
signing the language and writing the language, and that is human and
So in general I guess the questions asked to the list need to pertain to
writing and reading SignWriting. I am sure you all know about the TeachASL
List? That is a wonderful list to receive answers to your ASL questions.
Paul Cowley will be able to help you join the TeachASL List if you wish.
So I just wanted you all to know that I think everyone made good points in
No matter what, I support everyone in trying to write signs...and I hope in
time the writing of signed languages will help us all learn those languages
better...but of course the proper books need to be written in this regard,
and that will take time.
All the best -
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