August 21, 2014
Hello Jonathan and everyone -
There are already a lot of signs in SignPuddle dictionaries with SignSpelling sequences. I have done a lot. I believe Adam has done some. And Charles and so forth…
And we all may have different ways of wanting to sort…so we may not have the same SignSpellings...
That is why it is important to realize that there is not one theory on the SignSpelling Sequences. My SignSyllables seem to be working, but within the SignSyllables there are choices that are hard to make - not every sign is easy.
That is why we have a flexible SignSpelling Column to begin with, and why the writer has to take the time to put in their theory on SignSpelling Sequences…
Because in SignBank I learned that my theories were originally not right for me…that I could not look up a sign by Location easily -
that looking up by handshape was necessary - I did not learn that automatically - it took many years of trial and error -
And the most important thing is to realize that different listings of signs have different purposes -
Linguists, for their own research, may need to sort by Location sometimes - not for the everyday public’s use in dictionaries - but for their own databases needing the sequence for their special research…
So there is no such thing as the 100 per cent “correct” sequence - there will be norms and there will be dictionaries sorted under one editor’s theories -
So the Private Web Puddle, which is what we are talking about for Charles, will only give you one theory on sorting - and there is a good chance that Charles, like all writers, and especially me, may change his mind on
his own theories -
Let me tell you what I learned -
The only way to really know if a SignSpelling theory seemed to be working, was to have at least 3000 signs - you need a lot of signs sorted the same way. Because you need many examples including unusual signs and they don’t come up until you have a larger dictionary.
Once you have your 3000 signs, you need to print them in PDF, and hand the printed document to a signer or two, and preferably to a classroom of sign language students and ask them to find a certain sign. Watch them try to find it - try to “look it up” in a thick document - I have not tested it enough myself…each theory has to be tested…and it can only be tested on large numbers of signs…
More soon -