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From:  Mark Penner
Date:  Sat Jan 9, 1999  8:43 am
Subject:  Re: actors

> > But in general, you don't combine those set components with other set
> > components to make new words, you combine them to make sentences, so I
> > would see it as different than Chinese writing.
> You do combine some of the components of a character with other
> components to make other characters. At least that's my understanding
> of how complex Chinese characters were made.
Right, that's how Chinese characters are made. What I *meant* to say was
that SignWriting words are made up not of meaning units, but of discrete
units of information regarding what to do with your body. What you do with
your body makes the meaning. It would be comparable to German, where the
letters tell you what to do with your mouth/throat/lungs. Meaning comes
from the sounds indicated, not from meanings contained in the letters
themselves standing alone. "B" can mean a pretty good grade in school, but
a good grade has nothing to do with the meaning of the word "bat"; nor does
the fact that I use the "B" hand in forming the JSL word "work" have any
connection with the meaning "work.

Anyway, I think that's what I was trying to say. Now I'm trying to figure
out why in the world is said it in the first place! :-)

Hope I made more sense this time around.


Mark Penner
Tokyo, Japan

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