September 2, 2010
Hello Fernando -
Thank you for your messages and this message below is very interesting regarding your research...
To answer your question below about line drawings or illustrations...
Since this is the SignWriting List, I can answer it from the SignWriting perspective...
Yes, of course your line drawings as illustrations of signs are very useful and easy to understand.....and you have developed an excellent way to produce the illustrations to illustrate the signs, and that has been proven by your research below, that Deaf students are understanding them well - that is a terrific accomplishment, Fernando. Congrats on this important work.
And thank you for including SignWriting in your dictionary entries too.
But to change the subject slightly related to SignWriting and literacy...SignWriting has a different purpose than line drawings. Most signers are not professional artists who can draw their own line drawings when writing their own sign poetry or stories, so the purpose of SignWriting is to provide the world with a real writing system for daily use, for writing sign poetry and literature directly without translation from any other language. Signers can express themselves directly on a daily basis in their daily language, writing in the handshapes, facial expressions and movements of their language, in full sign sentences. And I understand this is happening more and more in Brazil...so it is another avenue of communication that perhaps can be researched more later...really two different subjects...dictionaries and literature are different topics.
But when it comes to Deaf Literacy, SignWriting seems to help some Deaf people improve their literacy skills in both spoken and signed languages...there is some research, but not enough yet to prove this, but in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Quebec and New Mexico, some research has taken place and seems to be positive.
I understand that SignWriting is taught in some schools and classrooms in Brazil ...are you testing your work in classrooms that are specfically using SignWriting? That would be interesting research for us to know about.
And by the way, have you considered joining the Sign Language Linguists List and share your work with them? The SLLING List is related to Sign Language Linguistics in general. To join the SLLING, go to:
They have over 600 subscribers and perhaps someone might want to write a review of your beautiful dictionary!
Congrats once again -
On Sep 2, 2010, at 9:17 AM, fernando capovilla wrote:
> Dear friends,
> It is great to know SW renditions, sign illustrations, and English glosses help make Libras signs clear. I wonder what you think about meaning illustrations (the line drawings that specify what signs mean). Do you think they may help as well, specially deaf kids who are still acquiring literacy skills? We hopoe so, and want to discover if that is really the case. We have just conducted a comprehensive and systematic study on that. This curious study on meaning illustrations goes like this:
> We took all the Libras dictionary illustrations and showed to 2,000 college students who named them by writing, one by one. (Nice people!).
> Then we separated the subset of pictures that have achieved at least 70% of univocity (the same name attibuted to them). We called them good, univocal pics to college students.
> Then we presented this subset to 2,000 high school students. (We thanked them a lot!). Again, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity. We called them good, univocal pics to high school students.
> After that we presented this subset to 2,000 primary school students. (We gave them goodies in return. Nothing edible. Just stationary paper, special pens, etc.). Always using written naming. Once more, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity. We called them good, univocal pics to primary school students.
> Then we presented this subset to 2,000 5 year old kindergarten students for oral naming this time. That took a lot of time and effort. One by one, kids had to be heard patiently and in good spirit. (They received goodies ad libitum). Once more, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity. We called them good, univocal pics to 5 year old kids.
> Since we had nothing else to do, we presented this subset to 1,000 4 year old kids for oral naming. That took us even more time and effort. But it was fun. Kids that age are lovely. Once more, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity. We called them good, univocal pics to 5 year old kids.
> Again, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity and presented them to 1,000 3 year old kids. Again, because we thought it was fun, we separated the pictures that achieved at least 70% of univocity and presented them to 1,000 2 year old kids.
> In the end, we ended up with 240 perfectly transparent pictures (in addition to some periorbital dark circles...).
> This 240 picture set is to be used in literacy acquisition assessment and intervention tools, as well as for naming assessment tools for anomic patients (anomia characterizes all types of aphasias, as you know). Nice stuff.
> In the beginning of 2011 we'll publish all these picture naiming data banks along with statistical criteria of iconicity, univocity, written word orthographic familiarity, written decodificability and codificability, etc. Now we are using them to assess receptive & expressive signing standardized parameters in deaf kids. Science is fun.
> Again, thank you for your kind words, Valerie, Charles and Maureen! We are deeply satisfied that you have enjoyed it, and that the signs are easy to understand. That is precisely what we intended. Thank you so much for telling us. That kind of feedback is what we need to create courage to keep on moving ahead and swimming up the mountain river. Each sign is a salmon egg than matures and hatches when one lays one's warm eyes upon it, giving birth to knowledge that is to multiply and expand the domain of that deep and vast ocean we call deaf cognition. Thank you.
> Fernando C. Capovilla, PhD
> Professor Associado
> Instituto de Psicologia, USP
> Coord Lab Neuropsicolinguística Cognitiva Experimental, IP-Usp
> Av. Prof. Mello de Morais 1721
> São Paulo, SP, 05508-900
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> visite-nos: http://lanceusp.hdfree.com.br/
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