SignWriting List
March 2, 2013

No worries, everyone - Since 1974, when I first started writing, there has always been the desire, by some, to only write in what they would call a "shorthand"…but truth be told…most people do not write shorthand daily, even in English - What IS happening though, is that any writing by hand has been replaced with handheld devices texting in some kind of abbreviated form of writing, and so what does our society do now? Basically there are three kinds of writing English:

1. typing by computer like I am doing right now
2. texting by a handheld
3. or reading published newspapers and documents written by others in formal writing that we all can read

So who really writes with a pen and pencil much now? Some do of course, but not as many people - when I take notes in English, I use my computer - I can barely write using my hands any longer - when I jot down a note I barely take the time to form the letters in English - I realized this the other day - I cannot handwrite my own language as well as when I was younger and did not use computers...

So having a way to really read sign languages - true literature - in sign languages - in a very readable document in SignWriting - written by others, is actually in keeping with what we are doing now with English and other spoken languages - there is reading, and then there is handwritten SignWriting, which is also used by many...

Take a look at our two new Wikipedia articles below… Do not think SI5S can write Wikipedia articles? (Do they really want to?) ...

Here are the two new articles posted recently:

Carol Padden Wikipedia Article

Israeli Sign Language Wikipedia Article

Val ;-)


On Mar 2, 2013, at 9:54 AM, Erika <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Forgive typos - writing on phone. 
> But yeah, I think I was starting to annoy people! But it was quite interesting to see how entrenched an assumption it is that simplicity in a system is an inherent virtue (such that a system that permits a wide range of choice in detail is seen as flawed because the more complex end of the range exists).
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Mar 2, 2013, at 12:48 PM, Erika <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> It's funny - I'm writing this on my phone from a Deaf studies conference at Swarthmore and in our last discussion we ended up in a discussion. Comparing Si5s with SW. People really didn't understand what SW was and I kept hijacking the conversation trying to correct misinformation. :)
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Mar 2, 2013, at 11:38 AM, "MARIA GALEA" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Oh sorry - i didn't notice the thread in these emails -
>>> thanks for the information Stuart about the book, I will try to trace it..
>>> thanks all..
>>> maria
>>>> So minimalist to the point of you have to perform minimal pairs on every
>>>> element in the system. I am beginning to see that effort in LIBRAS as we
>>>> see comparisons of hand shapes and orientations that come from a
>>>> linguistic point of view.
>>>> Example from Eda Amorim is that the thumb in many cases is not the
>>>> differentiator for meaning, such as the flat hand, several signs that are
>>>> performed with the index and middle finger where the same sign exists with
>>>> the thumb articulated and not so that complete dictionaries don't easily
>>>> show the relation.
>>>> This will be a long-term effort, and right now SW is the only way to
>>>> clearly and quickly show the related signs.
>>>> Charles Butler
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> 240-764-5748
>>>> Clear writing moves business forward.
>>>> --- On Fri, 3/1/13, Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> From: Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: Re: All Things Linguistic: SignWriting in ASL
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Date: Friday, March 1, 2013, 2:49 PM
>>>> That's the same impression I got from Robert Arnold when I talked with him
>>>> about si5s a few years back.
>>>> Adam
>>>> On Mar 1, 2013, at 11:22 AM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>>>> I have the book for si5s and have discussed some with Adrean Clark who
>>>> wrote the book. Since I am interested in writing sign languages in
>>>> general, I figured I might as well find out more about their system.
>>>> One major difference between si5s and SignWriting is that si5s is not
>>>> interested in being able to record all the details of the signing. Where
>>>> SignWriting can be used to be as detailed or as simple as you want, si5s
>>>> is intended to be as minimal as possible (or so I understand). In some
>>>> cases, you may not be able to be as specific with si5s as you can with
>>>> SignWriting. That's an intentional design decision. New symbols are added
>>>> only if it is absolutely necessary to be readable. At least, that is how I
>>>> understand the approach.