I wrote to you previously about being left handed... For your new questions.
I am a beginner with signwritting. Reading a sign is an effort of decoding what it means. I still have to thingk about direction arrows. I feel no effort to swap hands sides when I read... I need to sign what I read to understand it and to memorize. It helps me to ensure I do not confuse vertical and horizontal hands. It helps me to figure out how hands relate to one another. Where is the point of contact between them. For me signing is very physical, I need to move, not only read. Since I did not study during the summer, my only contact with sign language is through signwritting. This tends to make me become more right handed than before. So reading and writing often affect signing, at least for a hearing person that studies sign language since 3 years non professionnaly and sign wirtting since less than 6 months.
However, when I write what I see on a video, then there is a big effort to swap hands sides, particularly when hands are at 45 degrees.
To copy a sign a see on a video, the first effort is to swap it from receptive to expressive. I often do this by signing with my hands. Then, to write is less an effort, its like stamping what I see. To flatten it.
I do not read sign writting texts, I use it like a dictionary or flash cards.
Something amusing, sometimes in my imagination (for a split second) I overlap the written version to the video. This is the opposite of projecting my hand on the paper. Its like putting a chineese shadow on what I see.
Yesterday in a taxi I saw plenty of "turn left" and "turn right" signs on the highway. Since it is such an effort for me to write the arrows correctly I had an emotional respons to these arrows. They felt like sign writting.
Odd things occurs in a beginner minds...
I often dreamt signing to other people. that is clearly from an expressive perspective. I saw myself waist up including the head and the back of my hands, just like sign writting. In real life, I only see arms and hands.
Hi again! Thanks to all who responded to my earlier question - such helpful responses! I'll be sure to keep you all updated about the paper. I noticed something in your replies that made me think of an additional question: most of you talked about the process of writing and how expressive/receptive affects that process. Do any of you have any thoughts on how the choice affects reading? For example, when you read something written expressively, do you think that it makes you experience the writing differently? Are you more likely to sign it "out loud" (physically perform the signs in whole or in part while signing)? To notice spelling or writing choices that would differ from your own? Does putting yourself in the writer's shoes make you relate to them more?
-- Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway Assistant Professor of Anthropology Oberlin College