forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  "Judy A. Kegl"
Date:  Wed Dec 5, 2001  5:33 pm
Subject:  Re: some observations


One of the nice things about bringing a student from Nicaragua to Maine is
that he or she has access to a computer here for SignWriting. (The climate
in Bluefields is hell on computers, and we would have to buy a house, seal
off a room and install airconditioning if we wanted to seriously use
computers there.) Daphny (age 17) was writing a lengthy correspondence on
my computer the other day, and I asked her where she learned the spanish to
pull up the signs from the glossary. Her answer was that the students in
the Bluefields dorm would regularly study vocabulary lists at night using
our SignWriting dictionaries (about 2,000 entries).

These students can neither read nor write in spanish, since they lack an
adequate understanding of spanish grammar and syntax. Their sentences would
include recognizable word roots, but their intent would not be successfully
conveyed; nor can they reliably decipher meaning when reading spanish
sentences. Nevertheless, the spanish they practice at home gives them the
ability to use SignWriter generally quite effectively -- and the signs are
ordered and modified to comport with proper syntax and grammar for their
sign language.

-- James

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