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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Mar 10, 2002  3:25 pm
Subject:  Re: Is signwriting really a writing system?


SignWriting List
March 10, 2002

>>Marie Alexander from Malta wrote: The advantages are many: it is
>>easy to learn.. Once you know signwriting, you can signwrite any
>>sign - even an unacceptable (e.g.morphologically unacceptable
>>etc). This is necessary when using signwriting in a
>>document discussing a sign language, for example. So this makes it
>>possible to follow a sign language in terms of the identification
>>of what you would see if the signer were there but you can
>>gradually start to omit the redundant details (the more phonetic
>>ones) and hence the speed can increase. I am sure Valerie
>>explained that some time ago (apologies for my memory as to when
>>and in what context Valerie!)


Hello Marie! Great to hear from you again. It sounds like you are
really using SignWriting on Malta, or you would not have experienced
the feeling of writing great detail at first, and then automatically
simplifying the SignWriting, as you start to write more and more.
That process definitely happens with skilled SignWriters...so you
described that perfectly!

And that is why, if I am asked to transcribe a video for another
country, like the NOAH story I transcribed for the ZURICH project
recently, I choose to put in quite a lot of detail. I figure that
way, the signers who know their language, can reduce the amount of
detail later, as they see fit. But I wouldn't dare do that
simplification myself, since I do not know their language....and that
is exactly what is happening...the ZURICH project is now taking my
document, and choosing when they want to write facial expressions,
and when they do not feel it is necessary - wonderful process to
watch!
--
Val ;-)



Valerie Sutton


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