SignWriting List
February 16, 2012

Hello Ingvild -
That is a great idea, to place the beginning Quotation Mark in the Left Lane and the ending Quotation Mark in the Right lane, with the quoted phrase in the Center Lane - when writing in vertical columns. Very interesting idea and it sounds like it would work well - There are exciting perspectives as you say - and each writer can be creative with these Quotation symbols, which are rarely used - The reason I took them out of the ISWA 2010 was that I could not find many instances of their use, even though they have been a part of the SignWriting system for decades - Maybe now, as we are publishing some books in SignWriting that are over 500 pages - maybe with more books we will find the Quotation Marks coming back - who knows? ;-)

When it comes to writing the actual sign for "quote"…although I agree that it is normally for writing the way another person signs, I actually feel it is becoming a part of the written form for writing ASL…not just because someone did the sign for quote, but because it is an active part of any quoted sentence, even if the writer is expressing their own thoughts, and not writing what someone else signed - The only way they could sign a quoted phrase in ASL is to sign the sign for QUOTE - so I think both options are for writers to do as they feel is best -

Val ;-)

On Feb 15, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Ingvild Roald wrote:

Interesting question. Of course, if you are writing what you would be signing, writing 'quotation sign' rather that quotation marks would be correct. But as a more literate style of writing in sign languages, for articles etc., the quotation marks may be needed. Say I wanted to quote from soemthing already posted in another posting - this would not be like presenting in actual signing, but might be examples of how SignWriting might be spelled or written - then the quotation marks would be better. And then I observe that as the punctuation symbols are always in the middle lane, the quotation marks might be in the left lane (start) and the right lane (end), or that another convention like 'all quotes are in the right lane' or something like that, might develop. Exiting perspectives ...


Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 08:39:57 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Symbols quotation marks and long pause
To: [log in to unmask]

SignWriting List
February 15, 2012

Hello Madson and everyone -

Thank you for posting this question to the SignWriting List, Madson...

The quotation marks are used sometimes. It depends on the writer, and the style of your document. For example, the quotation marks are easier to read when writing signs horizontally. They are symbols that were designed for horizontal SignWriting and were used years ago in the SignWriter DOS program.

Quoting what another person signs, inside a document, can be written without the Quotation Marks…some writers write the actual sign for "quote" at the beginning of the quoted phrase, and then place a Pause symbol (Comma) at the end of the quoted phrase - If you are writing the way one signs a quoted phrase, that would be the most accurate way to write a quote. In that case, the Quotation Marks are not necessary.

So to answer your question…yes…the Quotation Marks can be used, but are rarely used. That is why I took them out of the International SignWriting Alphabet 2010, but, you can construct them if you want to use them, by finding some diagonal lines in the ISWA and building them yourself…They are still good symbols that can be used.

The Long Pause can also be constructed and can be as long as you want to make it. Make the space between the two lines larger or smaller depending on the length of the pause. The Long Pause is usually used when writing sign language theatre or sign language songs, when pausing can be different lengths related to the timing in music.

Meanwhile, the standard Comma or Pause symbol in SignWriting, with a small amount of space between the two lines, which is pre-constructed for you, is the symbol most people use for writing sentences…

Attached is a screen capture of building a Long Pause in SignPuddle Online, using SignMaker …see attached…

Val ;-)


On Feb 15, 2012, at 1:35 AM, Madson Barreto wrote:


In older textbooks written signs found two symbols that are not in SignPuddle:

- quotation marks
- Long pause

They have not yet used in SignWriting?


Madson Barreto


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
[log in to unmask]

Post Messages to the SignWriting List:
[log in to unmask]

SignWriting List Archives & Home Page

Join, Leave or Change How You Receive SW List Messages

Read & Write Sign Languages

SignPuddle Online
Write SignWriting in the Clouds!
Documents, Dictionaries, SignMail

SignWriting Wiki
Wiki-style Articles in Sign Languages

SignWriting List
Technical Support: Ask questions...

SignWriting Literature Project
Writing Literature in Sign Languages

SignWriting Encyclopedia Projects
Writing Encyclopedias in Sign Languages

SignWriting Sponsors Forum
Help Educational Non-Profit Organization

SignWriting Shop
Books, DVDs, Lessons, Services

Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
a US educational nonprofit organization
PO Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038, USA
Tel: 858-456-0098  Skype: valeriesutton

SignWriting on Twitter

SignWriting on YouTube

SignWriting on Facebook