Hi James and everyone,

Below, you explain potential ³rules, vocabulary, reading sections and a SW
workbook² to the SW list.  Do you have your material for rules, vocabulary
and reading sections and a SW workbook (for Deaf children)? If so, I would
like to get it.

Best regards,


Le 13-12-21 12:15, « James Shepard-Kegl » <[log in to unmask]> a écrit :

>Fellow Signwriters, educators, linguists and signers,
>I continue to mull over the request for materials for the little Tunisian
>project.  I am ignoring the notion that SignWriting will help Deaf
>children with sounds (?????) or their "mother tongue"  (unless their
>mother is Deaf and signs and this means their "mother hand").
>However, the request for materials to teach SignWriting is a valid
>request IF the request is really to teach signing, using SignWriting as
>an orthographic tool (which is what SW actually is.)  I am sure that many
>of us have been developing such materials in one form or another for
>years.  Maybe we could pool resources and efforts to produce something
>that many people will find truly useful.
>Let's begin with a premise:  Signed languages tend to be grammatically
>similar (not the same, but not all that different, either.)  Vocabulary
>varies a lot, but all signed languages use classifiers and classifier
>clitics a great deal.  All these languages follow syntax rules using
>spatial and locative verbs.  This is the reason that natively fluent Deaf
>signers in one country pick up other signed languages so quickly, even
>when these signers themselves cannot articulate their own grammar rules.
>(You don't have to know what a "predicate" is to use one properly in your
>sentence structure for your own language.  On the other hand, it is very
>useful to know grammar labels and rules when you are trying to learn the
>language of somebody else.)
>I keep making a big deal that you can't teach SignWriting unless you have
>developed reading material that is FUN to read.  But, what I mean is that
>you want fun and engaging reading material to help teach signing -- and
>not just to Deaf children, but to their hearing siblings and
>parents/grandparents, as well.
>I am picturing in my mind a text, divided into sections:
>1) A RULES section that explains in detail the common grammar terms of
>signed languages.  This section would use illustrations from many signed
>languages.  And, this section would be translated into many spoken
>languages.  (That is, there would be an English version, a French
>version, an Arabic version, and so forth.  The educator then purchases or
>is furnished with the specified version.)  You will note that this
>section is intended for literate educators.  An ASL version, or
>translation in other signed languages, would be really cool, too.
>Publishing something that will be understandable and helpful will not be
>easy.  However, please bear in mind that the reason that most hearing
>administrators do not accept that signed languages are bona fide
>languages (and the reason that so many Deaf people don't believe it
>either is that publications like this are rare.)
>2)  A VOCABULARY section -- perhaps 1,000 signs -- again, specify the
>signed language you want.  Each sign is depicted in photos or diagrams,
>SignWriting, and "the mother tongue".  A cute illustration would be nice,
>3)  A SIGNWRITING WORKBOOK to accompany the vocabulary section.
>4)  A READING section:  20 illustrated children's stories, to be
>practiced and enjoyed by all.  If you produce a simple illustrated
>version of Little Red Riding Hood in German, it does not take a lot of
>effort to reproduce the same story in English.  This should be even more
>true for signed languages.
>This concept will take a lot of work -- several years, I expect.  But, in
>the end, when someone somewhere asks for materials to teach SignWriting,
>we will have something really impressive, fun and useful to offer.
>-- James
>Valerie Sutton
>SignWriting List moderator
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