SignWriting List
January 18, 2013

Hello Erika and everyone!
Thank you for this message, Erika. I have a question. What name should I give the public SignPuddle file, that will be used for writers of your data?

The name will appear with a little flag icon at the top right of the screen when the SignPuddle file opens…It needs to be a short name…right now most of the files are called "ASL Dictionary" or "ASL Literature" or other equivalent names in other spoken languages…

So how about?…

Multilingual SW Literature

I can create the SignPuddle file now for you if you give me a name ;-)

And by the way, I think it is would be great to have multilingual versions of the same text, written in different sign languages, all in the same file - it will be valuable for research in many ways -

So please tell me the name to give to the SignPuddle file - we can also call it the "Hoffmann Project" or whatever you wish -

Val ;-)


On Jan 18, 2013, at 12:16 PM, Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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 languages.
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]> wrote:
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 project!


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
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Oberlin College