Hi Adam and friends,


well it should be not a big problem to imagine a person „pronouncing“ a word that starts with the letter „m“  -

If the person opens the mouth in order to go forward with an open “A” ....


Obviously my students have no problem whatsoever to associate these defined SW-facial-mouth-symbols with a typical mouthmovemen that goes along with pronouncing a word – without a need to hear any sound.


So what I did was to define a given set of symbols that would allow you to lipread ... in order to minimize the guessing game . ..


In the beginning of my time as a SignWriting scribe (years ago..;-)) ) I almost came to the point to give up. My students and me had to accept that we were not able to understand/read/translate  our SW-DOS-documents a few days later after we had written  them. And it took some time to understand the reason. At that time we have had almost emotional and heated debates about this issue. Is it political correct to accept that some signers – include Mundbilder – while they perform SL- ???


I am not interested in this discussion. I looked at hundreds of SL-videos and looked very carefully waht deaf signers do when they sign.


And of course you have simply to learn some of the meanings of these defined Mundbild-symbols. But once you find your way to understand they are a big support.


I am happy to see that Fernando Capovilla took advantage out of this idea...


O capítulo 26 intitula-se Recursos metalinguísticos na educação bilíngue

Libras-Português do surdo: Como ler-escrever a articulação visível dos sinais de

Libras via SignWriting e a das palavras faladas do Português via SpeechWriting

promovendo leitura orofacial e leitura-escrita alfabéticas, e é de autoria de

Fernando C. Capovilla, Valerie Sutton, e Stefan Wöhrmann. O capítulo apresenta

os dois sistemas de escrita: o de sinais SignWriting (Capovilla & Sutton, 2009) e o

da fala SpeechWriting (Capovilla, Sutton, & Wöhmann, 2012). Classifica esses

sistemas como tipos de alfabeto de traços não arbitrários (featural alphabet, cf.

Geoffrey Sampson, 1990), ou seja, alfabeto em que as formas das letras não são

arbitrárias, mas representam traços fonológicos dos fonemas que representam.

Argumenta que SignWriting e SpeechWriting são semelhantes ao Alfabeto Fonético

Internacional (AFI): Assim como o AFI permite tra...





All best




Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Adam Frost
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 5. Dezember 2012 17:46
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Facial expressions


The problem is getting photos to match the feel of what the symbols mean. It hard to get someone who can do the expressions well. Maybe if we could make a animation or do a drawing would be best, but just haven't gotten to it at this time.



On Dec 5, 2012, at 8:12 AM, "André Thibeault" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Honza,


            I already asked your same question before.  I didn't get an answer.


            Photos for facial expressions and Mundbilder (mouthing) systems are good for Deafian people.


            Best regards,




De : Honza <[log in to unmask]>
Répondre à : "SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages" <[log in to unmask]>
Date : Wed, 05 Dec 2012 12:01:43 +0100
À : <[log in to unmask]>
Objet : Re: Facial expressions


Hi Valerie and Stefan,

Stefan - I use your "Mundbilder" (but only for part of words). We are not sure if it is necessary or not to write whole words, so we write just few letters of each word.

Thank you Val, yes I know there are many explanations, but it is not exact.
Best are pictures. I found some in Cross-linguistic Guide, but there are only some - especially there are only 3-4 eyebrow patters.


On 4 December 2012 23:49, Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Valerie and friends,


In addition to that we discussed again and again my “Mundbilder” system – smile


You find it in my “Handbuch zur GebärdenSchrift”


It is helpful to describe/write down that part of information coming from the lips of a signer if it is not meant as “mouth gesture” but associated with given words in the spoken language of that country. ...


From: SignWriting List

Date: Monday, August 18, 2003 22:34:20

To: SW-L@...

Subject: Mouthings- question for Stefan


All best





Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2012 21:38
An:[log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Facial expressions


SignWriting List

December 4, 2012


Find information on Facial Expression symbols in SignWriting….Go to the International SignWriting Alphabet 2010 Reference web page:


ISWA 2010 HTML Reference Guide


scroll down and click on:


Category 4: Head & Faces


scroll down and click on:


SymbolGroup 22: Head


SymbolGroup 23: Brow Eyes Eyegaze


SymbolGroup 24: Cheeks Ears Nose Breath


SymbolGroup 25: Mouth Lips


SymbolGroup 26: Tongue Teeth Chin Neck


Every symbol is listed with names in English beside each symbol.


These symbols are used in several software programs, including SignPuddle (www.SignPuddle.org)  and SignWriter Studio (www.SignWriterStudio.com).


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