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From:  William MacGruder
Date:  Tue Dec 22, 1998  9:25 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing Fingerspelling in SW

In a message dated 12/22/98 6:55:12 AM Pacific Standard Time,

<< Karen van Hoek, in an excellent message posted November 29, 1998, explained
why research shows that native signing Deaf children see fingerspelling as
signs, not English. So that is one reason why we write fingerspelling the
way it really looks, rather than inserting English words wherever
fingerspelling occurs. >>

Personally, I think this also addresses the previous discussion concerning

Some may remember that there was a big discussion on this list regarding how
to write certain words and signs, a la transliterations.

My personal take on this is that a transliteration (as the meaning of the word
shows) is a way of writing the sounds of one word from one language in the
script of another language which uses different sybmols for those sounds.

Not to be flippant, but none of the Signed languages is a means of recording
sounds. Reflect on that for a moment and you'll readily understand why the
Deaf children see finger-spelled words as basically compound signs. They have
no aural experience to show why the word has those letters or symbols assigned
to it.

I sent in a response regarding Sign Writing itself a while back and Valerie
posted it on the SignWriting site. I feel that what we've been discussing (or
in my case just reading :D ) is an extension of that.

Remember that Sign Writing is for recording Signs not sounds.

- William J. "Chip" McGruder
Monterey, CA

  Replies Author Date
743 Re: Writing Fingerspelling in SW Valerie Sutton Wed  12/23/1998

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