One thing I forgot to ask: Does anyone know if there's an accepted abbreviation for Egyptian Sign Language?  EgSL, perhaps?  (Analogous to Arabic Sign Language being referred to as ArSL.)  If there is a list of accepted names and abbreviations you could refer us to, that would be awesome.  
Many thanks!  

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Ryan Fan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello Val! 
Thanks for referring me to the research and the Saudi Arabian SignPuddle.  I'm sure it will be an interesting comparison in terms of signs and SW conventions.  I'll try to add an English, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and Egyptian Arabic gloss for each sign, if available.  

An important thing to keep in mind about Arabic: "Arabic" is an umbrella term for many different stratified and overlapping spoken languages.  (This is an oversimplification; we can discuss in more depth later.)  Many native speakers are not able to actively distinguish features of their spoken variety and other varieties, including the MSA used in literature.  The same appears to hold true for perceptions of the distinction between Egyptian Sign and what I've seen in Egypt referred to as simply "Arabic Sign."  Hopefully, some of the data collection I'm trying to do will shed more light on this subject from a Sign perspective.  

Thanks again, and keep on dancing!  

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 5:32 AM, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
SignWriting List
April 18, 2012

Hello Ryan!
Thank you for your correspondence today, and for adding signs to the Egyptian SignPuddle Dictionary, which has been close to empty for several years, waiting for someone to take interest in writing Egyptian Sign Language…

Egyptian SignPuddle

So it was only natural for me, when I saw your message and some of the signs you have written in SignPuddle, that I danced around my office - because I did! Good news is a good reason to dance…smile...

We will benefit from learning about Arabic, linguistics, Egypt and Egyptian Sign Language, so feel free to inform us… It sounds like you are doing interesting research and we look forward to learning more about it - 

Have you read some of Dr. Mohamed AbuShaira's research on SignWriting in Deaf Education in Jordan and Saudi Arabia? It is in Arabic...

Have you seen the Saudi Arabian SignPuddle in Arabic? 

Saudi Arabian SignPuddle

Several countries will benefit from an Arabic User Interface in SignPuddle, so thank you for offering to help with that -

Val ;-)


On Apr 18, 2012, at 4:20 PM, Ryan Fan wrote:

Hi all,
My name's Ryan, and I'm trying to start work on the Egyptian SignPuddle,
slowly transferring signs from my notebook onto the SignPuddle database.  In
truth, I'm rather new to SignWriting, and how my studies have led me to this
juncture is a bit of a long story.  

In short, I have limited experience with ASL from grade school hymns and a
high school ASL club many years ago.  My undergraduate work focused on
mathematics and linguistics, as well as Arabic.  I've been living in Egypt for the
past couple years, studying Arabic while searching for a place to learn Egyptian
Sign Language.  The bureaucracy here is something of a tortuous and torturous
labyrinth, especially for foreigners, and I only managed to start attending
weekly Egyptian Sign classes this Spring, mere months before my departure to
start a graduate program in Arabic Linguistics back in the US.  I hope to return
relatively frequently (in intervals of ~6-12 months) for documentation and
research on both spoken Egyptian Arabic and Egyptian Sign.  

Reading over Val's warm/dancing welcome to my inquiry and seeing some of the
archived emails, I'm grateful to be part of such a supportive and inquisitive
community!  Please feel free to contact me via email should you feel the strong
and sudden urge to discuss anything pertaining to Arabic, linguistics, Egypt,
signing, any combination of those, or anything else, really.  Thanks!  


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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