I do like the idea of cross-linguistic elicitation material like what you've
suggested, though I think both those pieces are quite long - we might want
to select an excerpt from one of them. (My vote is for something from Frog,
Where Are You? - I like being able to look back and forth at the pictures to
construct the story in my mind, since I don't normally think in ASL. I know
I'd find a picture story easier to work with than a video.)

Great idea!



From: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Erika
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 1:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: idea for SW book


Hi all! 
I've been thinking over what material we should use a shared starting point
for producing SW documents for the book. I don't want to us to translate
from a text in a written (signed or spoken) language. So, I'm thinking the
best approach might be to an elicitation material commonly used in
cross-linguistic spoken and signed language research, such as Frog, Where
Are You? (a picture story with no written text) or The Pear Story video.
For those not familiar - 
The former can be seen in the appendix of this article:
The latter can be viewed here: 
I suggest one of these because they've been chosen precisely because they
are thought to be relatively cross-culturally accessible - and we are a
diverse group :) 
They are also thought to elicit interesting grammatical variation in
Finally, because there is so much research on sign languages that has used
these materials for elicitation, the texts you produce can more easily
become a part of a broad comparative cannon. 
Frog, Where Are You? will be more work for you all though, as translating it
will certainly take much longer - and for that reason The Pear Stories might
be a better choice.
However, it would be really cool if another result of this project was to
contribute to the written sign language literature available for d/Deaf
children and other readers!
Mercer Meyer has been very generous in lending this story to research, and I
can look into what it would take to make it permissible to have multilingual
versions of the text with the illustrations available on the SSW website.
Having the translations be useful not only for research purposes but also
for kids to read would certainly be in the SW spirit!
What do you all think?

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 3:41 PM, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

SignWriting List

January 17, 2013


On Jan 17, 2013, at 9:38 AM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]>

Yes, I think for the purposes of this project it's fine for participants to
create the document in whatever way they prefer. Many who use SignPuddles
may want to use that option, but delegs, or even handwriting are fine with
me. These different approaches themselves provide interesting data for my




Yes.I agree. Another software program is SignWriter Studio, developed in
Honduras, and in Honduras they also have shown us some amazing handwritten
documents using full stick figures - so the variety of software and writing
styles is quite amazing.


Take a look at the Honduran document attached.this looks like documents from
Denmark too:






Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
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Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
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Oberlin College