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Hi Valerie and friends... 

 

well James I feel very proud to read your comment. People should know that
it has been James Shepard – Kegl with his work in Nicaragua who made me
believe that SignWriting will change the world for my deaf students... and
it is long ago that we typed lots and lots of DOS documents with the good
old SW4.4 Programm...At that time (almost ten years ago)  I studied several
SW – dictionaries of different SL of the world in order to get a feeling for
how to arrange the symbols for the entries.  Good to know that there are
some more documents from old times. Personally I feel lucky to find this
one... 

 

 



 

 

 

 

All best 

 

Stefan ;-) 

 

 

  _____  

Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Romero
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 6. November 2013 20:50
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Genesis of SignWriting

 

Right after Valerie :c)

 

 

On Nov 6, 2013, at 11:25 AM, James Shepard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:





Well…this discovery will certainly shake up the linguistic world – back to
the drawing board on everything we thought we knew about language evolution
and early civilizations.  You could get a Nobel prize for this, Stefan!

 

*  James

 

From: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:SW-
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Valerie Sutton
Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:17 PM
To:  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Genesis of SignWriting

 

SignWriting List

November 6, 2013

 

Ha! This is gorgeous and also with whimsy, Stefan…Thank you for this….There
is a DanceWriting figure taking a bow on one knee on the bottom of the dress
of the figure on the left - very cute!

 

<image002.jpg>

 

Did you know, when the SignWriting Script was categorized as one of the
world’s scripts by the International Bureau of Standardization (ISO) in 2006
(  <http://www.unicode.org/iso15924/iso15924-codes.html>
http://www.unicode.org/iso15924/iso15924-codes.html ), the discussion was at
the time that we were similar to Hieroglyphics… I questioned that but then
there was not a good way to categorize SignWriting but as a “Featural
Alphabet” like Korean Hangul ;-)

 

Val ;-)

 

———

 

 

On Nov 6, 2013, at 10:56 AM, Honza < <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]>
wrote:






Nice work Stefan :)

 

Honza

 

On 6 November 2013 18:38, Stefan Woehrmann <
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Honza, Valerie and everybody...

when I did this kind of research a decade ago I found some very interesting
documents that may lead to the assumption that SignWriting is a notation
system that existed already long time ago...   smile

L.I.F.E

 

All best

 

Stefan 

 

 

  _____  

Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 6. November 2013 17:54
An:  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Genesis of SignWriting

 

SignWriting List

November 6, 2013

 

Hello Honza and everyone -

Thank you for starting this interesting thread, about the “genesis” or the
background and history not only to SignWriting, but to writing sign
languages throughout history. There is a lot to discuss.

 

Regarding Roch-Ambroise Auguste Bébian…

I first heard about Bébian’s system in September 2007, when my friend Shane
Gilchrist (hi Shane!) suggested that I purchase a book called “I See a
Voice” by Jonathan Rée. I ordered it from  <http://amazon.com/> Amazon.com
and then enjoyed skimming the chapters related to writing sign languages,
from page 293-324. It was there that I first learned about Bébian, but I was
immediately attracted to his system and his feelings about writing sign
languages and felt a “connection” (you know what I mean - almost a spiritual
feeling that we were on the same plane, so to speak). And there are many
other interesting stories and information in the book which makes me think I
should read the book more carefully - I confess I have only skimmed the
book.

 

But yes, Honza, I see the connection, but no, I did not know about Bébian at
the time of my first writing Danish Sign Language and a South Pacific Sign
Language back in Denmark in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

 

I was a little different than the other developers of writing systems, in
that I did not come from a knowledge of any sign language, nor did I have a
desire to learn linguistics. I loved languages in general, but that is not a
linguistic interest. I was already writing the dances of the Bournonville
tradition at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen with my invention in 1974, and
when I started writing the movement of both hearing people and Danish Sign
Language from a video at the University of Copenhagen starting in 1974, I
was sharing my time between writing dance at the Royal theater and writing
sign language movement and hearing-person’s gestures at the University - I
saw myself as a movement notator and not a sign language writer at the
time…but overtime, as I wrote more of Danish Sign Language on the video, I
became aware it was a real language…I self-published two booklets on writing
sign languages - one on writing Danish Sign Language, and the other on
writing signs from a South Pacific Island with Rolf Kuschel. These two
booklets are mentioned on this web page, and I could scan them and post them
on the web if you wish…would you like to see these old historic documents?

 

 <http://www.signwriting.org/library/history/hist003.html>
http://www.signwriting.org/library/history/hist003.html

 

<image003.jpg>

 

 

My influence was definitely Friedrich Albert Zorn (
<http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Albert_Zorn>
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Albert_Zorn ), and Walt Disney’s
animation that places movement in drawings frame by frame by frame from left
to right on a five-lined staff that can fit under music… That was my
starting point…

 

Then I started writing sign language in stick figures at the University go
Copenhagen… Later I learned about Dr.Stokoe and his research…

 

I think starting visual with stick figures, with no linguistic judgements,
had great value, and I still believe in the visual, but it is the writers we
work with, like yourself, Honza, and in my case, the Deaf Action Committee,
that had the greatest influence on our writing expressively, in vertical
columns, without full stick figures…the way we write today…and the internet
had a big influence…where I and others meet people like yourself - as we
write we influence each other...

 

I bet there were many other writing systems for sign languages before and
after Bébian, that we have not heard of, because everyone needs a way to
write signs… Adam tells me that most signers have developed their own way of
writing their language from time to time…Adam developed his own system too,
before starting to work with SignWriting, and I have also met other Deaf
signers who have done the same - Bernard Bragg is one -

 

If Bébian had done his work during the age of the internet, we might be
writing his system worldwide now - smile -

 

Val ;-)

 

-----

 

On Nov 6, 2013, at 7:18 AM, Honza < <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]>
wrote:

 

Hello Valerie,

 

recently I researched history if writing sign languages and I realized that
the very first writing system developed by Roch-Ambroise Auguste Bébian
(French) is in some way similar to SignWriting.

Did you know about Bebian's writing system by the time you developed
SignWriting on the basis of DanceWriting and were you inspired by his system
or not?
It is known that Stokoe created his notation system on the basis of
Bebian's.. 

It is very interesting fact.

 

It interests me because I teach about writing sign languages at University,
but I haven't found enought detail about this.

 

Thank you.

Honza

 

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