Date: Fri Dec 21, 2001 7:00
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: ZURICH: Facial Expressions
December 21, 2001
QUESTION FROM ZURICH PROJECT:
>I also wonder if the notation of some grammatical
>facial expression in a text might require native knowledge of the sign
>language, as it's not clear that all facial expressions are really the
>same across all sign languages (especially when mouthing of spoken
>language words get involved in the mix.) But maybe this hasn't been
>your experience in notation texts of different sign languages? Maybe
>I'm creating problems where, in practice, there are none.
I believe you have native signers signing the story on video?
Therefore, the facial expressions of the native signer are there for
us to study...
In my case, I just write what I see on the video. I don't have to
know the sign language on the video to write the facial expressions I
The SignWriting system itself is not based on a prior knowledge of
any signed language...it records the signs visually without
judgement, a little like a video does, but it is a writing system,
and so it has benefits that videos do not.
Of course other people, especially linguists, may make decisions as
to what is important and what is not important. And that is fine. I
am sure in time, rules may develop...
But this is your FIRST SignWriting publication in the history of
Swiss-German Sign Language! I would suggest keeping things very
simple right now. Don't worry too much. Write the facial expressions
you can, and we can always analyze it later - ha! ;-)
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