And yet, one reads other people signing all the time, which is a receptive task. That is, for me, why writing SignWriting receptively for a video so that the experience visually is identical was how I learned SignWriting. It was other people signing to me and me copying their sign mirror-image and backward which is how I learned to sign. The SignWriter newspaper was entirely receptive, reading someone else's signing to me. Having to flip over a video in my head and write it from my point of view is a daunting task and having learned SignWriting from Valerie at Gallaudet, which was a receptive task at the time, it has taken me years to learn to write and read videos when the task is simply confusing to me. When I write, I write what I see, and if that is someone else signing, I write it receptively. If it is ME signing, I write
They are two different modes which do not exist with spoken language. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) allows me to write the exact formation of consonants and vowels so that I can write my own southern accent or a British accent in written form and I was once expert in this. IPA also allows for tones, accents, and rising and falling of ordinary speech but it not often used that way with languages that are not tonal.
Agreed. I think the reason why we feel this way is because SignWriting is such a (near) perfect system. If we were trying to read one of the other sign notation systems (like Stokoe's), we would have to analyze all the time, and it would be as cumbersome written receptive as written expressive.
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2013 03:35:38 -0700
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: one more receptive/expressive question
To: [log in to unmask]
I think Signwriting and spoken language writing are different here. When reading signwriting, receptive and expressive writing are very different animals, so different that for ME, trying to read receptive writing is a difficult task, while reading expressive writing is not difficult at all. But if I am writing what someone else says in English (regardless of what I think about what he is saying), it will look just like it would if I wrote what i was thinking. Reading, regardless of emotion, is a receptive task. Listening/watching is a receptive task. Only writing can be
an expressive task. What makes it difficult in the case of sign is that there IS a difference between reading receptive and expressive. And the hoops my brain has to jump through in order to translate something receptive
into the way my brain CAN properly receive the message is why it is so hard.
I take your point Val, though I
think that if we include social, emotional, contextual etc signification - as opposed to just reference - the sound of the voice or qualities of signing can add lots of meaning.
I also think that it may be possible to read written spoken language receptively - for example, if a person feels alienated from the type of text (suppose someone reading in a language they understand but don't identify with, or someone reading an authoritative legal text) might project in their head a voice that isn't their own. I sometimes ask students this question, whether they hear their own voice internally when they read, and the answers can vary according to the student's identity in relation to what they are reading.
Does that make sense?
Sent from my iPhone
August 22, 2013
Yes, I agree, thank you, Ingvild, for sharing this - This is a good story to remember...Reading appears to be expressive, whether your read out loud, or hear your own voice in silence while you read, or read without hearing anything…it is still expressive, because you are internalizing the thoughts for meaning, as if they are your own - You are not hearing someone else's voice - because there is no way you could know what the original author sounded like, nor is the sound of someone else's voice the point of the message - How someone else signs something (produces the movements) is not the point either, if you are reading for "meaning" -
Ah, that is an interesting way of thinking about expressive/receptive reading for spoken language!