Hi Val -
A public SignPuddle would be ideal, thank you for the excellent suggestion!
I'll get to work on finding something appropriate for translation - though, again, I really welcome any suggestions in this regard.
Then I'll write again and we can proceed! I'm really excited about this!

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
SignWriting List
January 17, 2013

This makes perfect sense, Erika - I am happy you are providing a flexible forum, showing how the SignWriting Script is used in different venues and by different writers with different styles and purposes - That is one of SignWriting's strengths…and one of my major goals…to provide the world with a flexible yet useful script that can be applied to any sign language, and useful for both Deaf and hearing people…

So thank you for this!

Val ;-)


On Jan 15, 2013, at 6:53 AM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

KJ and Ingvild: wonderful, thanks!

Claudia: Thank you, these are great questions. I first wanted to gauge whether there would be enough interest before I developed this idea further. And I welcome feedback from the group about how to best proceed.

But initially, here are my thoughts: I definitely don't want isolated words or sentences, but rather a longer passage (we can decide the length together, based on the time you all have available, but I'd like a couple of paragraphs at least). We can think together about the best source: any suggestions?

Individual authors could perhaps decide whether they want to film a translation in the relevant sign language and then transcribe from that OR just directly translate into writing. And that detail could be part of the contextualizing information for each text.

Claudia, you'd be welcome to participate in an analytical discussion of the texts without producing one. But, regarding your concern about being "too hearing": I do fervently hope that many Deaf signers will participate, but I also don't want to exclude texts made my hearing SignWriters who want to participate. I will want to contextualize each text with information about the author's background and experience with the relevant sign language.

One of the reasons I welcome multiple texts in each language and by writers of all backgrounds is that I'm not going to be arguing in the book that a given text is a perfect representation of ASL or LIBRAS in some kind of abstract uniform sense. Rather I'd like to explore the different ways in which SignWriters of all backgrounds use the writing system to explore, represent and (explicitly or implicitly) analyze various sign languages.

I realize that some of you have different interests or are working in different disciplines with different goals (such that what will count as appropriate data for Claudia will be different than what is appropriate data for me). That's part of what I'd like to discuss in my book actually, the ways in which your goals in using SignWriting affect the choices you make in creating texts. So it's already, for me, useful to know that Claudia feels that she is too hearing to produce a text for scientific study, a feeling that makes sense given her discipline.

Does this make sense? I hope I'm not slipping into jargon of my field :)

Thanks all! I'm really excited to work with you on this project!


On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Maravilhoso! Eu espero que você participe! O Brasil é um lugar tão importante para SignWriting!

Wonderful! I hope you will participate! Brazil is such an important place for SignWriting!

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 7:38 PM, Aldenisa Peixoto da Silva <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Oi Erika, 

... Maravilhosa ideia.

Att; Isalibras

Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 23:49:38 +0100
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: AW: idea for SW book

To: [log in to unmask]

Hi Erika,


... would be fun!




Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
Gesendet: Montag, 14. Januar 2013 22:51
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: idea for SW book


By the way, I'm interested in as many texts as people are willing to make - so if there are multiple ASL or BSL or LIBRAS (or any other language) versions that's just fine! It would just add more interesting data for comparison and discussion!

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Thanks Charles, I was hoping you'd be interested! :)


On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM, Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

l'd love to do something for this. Working back and forth with both ASL and LIBRAS would be fun. I'm going to learn a great deal in Brazil, and I have transcribed articles for Valerie and for Wikipedia.

Charles Butler
[log in to unmask]
Clear writing moves business forward.

--- On Mon, 1/14/13, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: idea for SW book
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, January 14, 2013, 2:46 PM


Thanks Chris! That's great! I'd love for you to participate and I'll make sure to keep you in the loop as a plan solidifies.

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM, chris farman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:



That sounds like a fantastic chapter and I would love to help take part in that. I use BSL in SW and do not have much exposuer to this kind of observation as here in the UK SW is not very well known. However i am currently writing a learning manual for SW it would be very interesting to see the same pharagraph translated.


Feel free to email/update me as you wish.



On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all! As some of you know, I am (slowly) working on a book about SW – its development and use across different international sites (including the transnational listserv). As part of this research I’ve traveled to visit Valerie and some other list members, such as Stefan and Maria. I’d love to visit everyone on the list (at least, every one who was willing!) but unfortunately my limited funding won’t allow that. Still, I really want as many interested SignWriters as possible to participate in the book. To that end, I have an idea and I’m curious what you all think about it.
What if we selected some kind of passage that all of you who were willing could translate into your respective sign language and write up using SW? I could devote a chapter of the book to these different texts, which would allow for a comparison across both different sign languages and different ways of using SW. Each writer could perhaps reflect on the choices they made in translating and writing their document, including perhaps how their backgrounds/goals affect these choices. And perhaps participants could also provide their own thoughts about what we can learn from the comparison of these texts.
This is just my initial idea – if you have other ideas please let me know!


Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Oberlin College



Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Oberlin College