On 8/18/2013 10:03 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite"> SignWriting List
August 18, 2013

Hello André and everyone -
Thank you for this message and thank you for offering to translate the Parkhurst's "A Cross-Linguistic Guide to SignWriting" into French. That will be used immediately…I look forward to posting it on this web page:

SignWriting Lessons Books in French

Jonathan Duncan, software developer of SignWriter Studio (www.signwriterstudio.com), and I were both pleased to read that you are using SignWriter Studio, combined with SignPuddle Online (www.signpuddle.org). Jonathan will be building in searching routines into SignWriter Studio now, but the searching routines are different than the ones in SignPuddle Online (I believe this is true...am I correct in saying that, Jonathan?) so I think both programs enhance each other with a variety of search routines...
Yes that is correct, the SignWriter Studio search will also find symbols that mean the same such as arrows to the right or left and hands to the right or left from top view or side view.
Sorry I took so long to respond.  The Signwriting list emails weren't showing up but they did today!!!  I haven't updated the help files yet or the SignWriterStudio web page but you can download the new version from


To use the search, open a dictionary you will be prompted to upgrade the file, so make a backup first if you intend to use an older version of the file
 and click Sign Search...

You will a SignEditor window.  Add the symbols you want to search for. You can select the symbols and change whether you want them to search Same Fill & Rotation, same fill, same rotation or any fill and rotation doing a right click.

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So your feedback on the software, André, will be much appreciated -

Thank you for ideas on Flashcards too - A lot to think about -

Enjoy learning Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) and have a great autumn -

Val ;-)


On Aug 16, 2013, at 2:33 PM, André L <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I will initiate some ideas in Fall or winter...
One is to translate in French the guide "A cross-linguistic guide to signwriting" by Parkhurst.
Another project is to use the freeware Anki to make intelligent flashcards to study sign language for Québec sign language. Seehttp://ankisrs.net/
I used it for Chineese and Haiti creole.  I love it.  It shows words we had more difficulties in the past and easy ones once in a while.


The last project: I am a professionnal software tester (13 years experience in the medical field and soon some web based testing in the medical field).  I could provide in depth test protocols for testing new applications (currently I use mostly signwriter studio 1.1 and signpuddle for search.
I have little free time now, but in December, most of my signing classes will be over... I will post other messages then.
André Lemyre

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:03:01 -0700
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: productive/receptive writing question
To: [log in to unmask]

SignWriting List
August 13, 2013

Hello André Lemyre!
I am happy to see the many signs you have added to the Quebec Sign Language Dictionary:

Now that we can search by Source, I was able to find all the signs you have written by searching for your name in the Search for Source field…

Here is a screen capture of the list of signs you have written so far:

Thank you for your hard work, André!

Your description of writing left-handed signing and right handed-signing, and Receptive and Expressive is really interesting. Your perception is correct - you are welcome to write as you choose. The only issue, which I believe you already experienced, is that most people are reading and writing in the Expressive-Right-Handed mode, and since that is the standard way we are writing, most people will read your writing better if you write that way. However, for your own personal use, or for some exceptions in research, the other modes are fine too - 

SignWriting is flexible. I believe that is why it is used so widely now -

Val ;-)


On Aug 12, 2013, at 5:51 PM, André L <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I want to add complexity relative to left handed people...
In Tae kwon do and Aikido (martial arts), a long time ago, I was taught to not have a preferred side, both should be equals.
I am right handed.  I work a lot with computer and have pain to my right hand.
I studied Québec sign language 3 years ago.  I chose my left hand has my dominant hand for signing.  (I can easily swap hands for signing.)
When I studied signwritting in March 2013, I copied my right handed teacher signs from a receptive perspective, I had no time to process the sign.  Signwritting is not easy for a beginner and my teacher do not let time for taking notes.
After, at home, I wrote as a left handed person from the expressive perspective for my personal notes.  Then I shared copies of my personal notes with right handed friends.  I swaped to writing as a right handed person.
Since 1 month, I add signs to sign puddle.
I write the signs from a right handed person from the expressive perspective.
Before writting a sign, I watch a video from the receptive perspective.  Then, I do the sign with the right hand. I watch it from the expressive perspective.  After, I write it as a right handed would do.  I project the image of my right hand on the screen.
Sometimes, I write very naturally a sign that I see .  I was under the impression that I may write from a left handed receptive perspective... by-passing all the swapping I mentionned above.
Good success with your semester.
André Lemyre

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:39:14 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: productive/receptive writing question
To: [log in to unmask]

Hi everyone! I'm going to be giving a paper at our annual anthropology meetings this fall on a panel about how to best represent visual aspects of linguistic phenomena. 
I want to talk about the shift from receptive to productive writing in SW. I'm going to suggest that there are interesting theoretical and methodological lessons in this shift for scholars who want to transcribe visual aspects of communication, even if they aren't using SW per se (though I also want to make more scholars in my field aware of how useful SW can be for this purpose).
To that end, I was wondering if list members might be willing to talk with me about their feelings about productive writing with SW. Did you initially write receptively? If so, how did you shift? (or do you still write receptively sometimes?). How do you feel that writing productively affects the way you choose to write (or how you read other people's writing)? 
I'd love to hear answers to these questions and anything else you think is relevant about this aspect of SW, particularly as it relates to your own ways of using the writing system (for teaching, for research, for translation, for poetry, etc). 
The conference isn't until November, but I wanted to get started on it now, before the semester kicks in!

Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Oberlin College


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