August 21, 2013
Hello everyone -
I agree, Erika, these are fascinating responses. Thank you, André, for sharing such interesting thoughts.
I actually too wanted to mention similar points. I am a hearing person who signs conversationally using ASL signs blended with English, so I am only speaking for myself in this message…
When I have long conversations in my "blend of ASL signs and English", if I have signed long enough in one day…I start thinking in sign language to a certain degree. It is a wonderful experience -
"thinking in sign language" for me is thinking the way I think while I am really signing to others…but without actually signing…my mind is going through the motions in my head, without my body actually doing it - that is what I mean when I say I am "thinking in sign language"… and that is "Expressive" I believe.
I am not looking at someone else signing. No one else is the signer. I am the signer, and I am feeling the feeling of using my hands, body, face and head to communicate…but I am not actually doing the motions - I am thinking them - and that is Expressive -
Most writers are used to reading their own expressive writing in SignWriting. But sitting down and reading a 500-page-book, written in a sign language in SignWriting, by someone else, is not a common experience yet, because there has not been enough reading materials and printed books for people to read until now…
When we read those kinds of books in English or other spoken languages, we are hearing our own voice saying those words on the page, even though someone else actually wrote the words…so reading I suspect is Expressive even in spoken language -
This topic is interesting to researchers because sign languages have a visual component that spoken languages do not. To be able to switch between Expressive and Receptive in a spoken language would be amazingly hard - how would you know the difference?
But in SignWriting we can switch around and that brings up so many questions - I personally think Expressive is the best for reading materials and is better for most situations - Video transcription is not as common now as before - we are writing books more and more directly in sign languages without any transcription -