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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Jan 11, 2002  4:37 pm
Subject:  Re: Questions for a Notation Comparisons Study

>>Susanne Bentele wrote:
>Is a writing fluency obtained or does it take MUCH longer to write a
>sign in SW than an average word in roman letter? (NOT in SW
>shorthand!) That's it for now - maybe i'll have more questions
>later. Deadline...? asap... :-/Best, Susanne

SignWriting List
January 11, 2002

Val's answer: YES! Writing fluency is obtained!

Speed of writing is EQUIVALENT. Skilled Signwriters are neither
slower nor faster than skilled English or German writers.

In my terminology, a "roman letter" is NOT equivalent to a "sign".
For me, a "word" is compared to a "sign", but a "roman letter" is
compared to a "SW symbol". And writing an "a" from the roman
alphabet, or writing a "hand with an index finger" is equivalent in
speed for many SignWriting users...

So SignWriting, for "skilled Signwriters", is as fast to write as
writing a spoken language is, for someone skilled in spoken language.

If you are not skilled in SignWriting yourself, of course you would
assume that it is slower, because you are not skilled enough to make
the comparison. Chinese can look frightening if you do not know

We do not have scientific studies to prove any of this, one way or
the other...I am only telling you from my experience with
individuals. We need to study more students, over longer periods of
time, to really know.

In your notation comparison, be sure to explain that there are many
ways to write SignWriting, just as there are in spoken languages...

1. Typing SignWriting compared to typing English.... (speed depends
on the software design)

2. Writing perfect SignWriting symbols by hand (called Block Letters)
compared to trying to write perfect English letters by
hand...EQUIVALENT in speed in my experience

3. Writing SignWriting Shorthand compared to writing English
shorthand....I am not skilled in English shorthand so I cannot make
the comparison...

I hope this helps, Susanne. I just received a comparison of notation
systems written in Spanish, from Spain...they compared HamNoSys with
SignWriting I believe, and I have been given permission to post it on
the web, but I haven't gotten to that yet -

If you have further questions, please post them to the SignWriting
List, since I put List messages first, and private messages second -

Good luck with your project!!

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton

....visit the...

Read & Write Sign Languages

Sign Language Dictionaries

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Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
tel: 858-456-0098....fax: 858-456-0020

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