Re: Writing a proposal for an unusual script: SignWriting

From: Stephen Slevinski (
Date: Sun Jun 13 2010 - 08:16:07 CDT

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    Hi Adam,

    I couple of example.

    First, underwater divers have a form of sign language they use for
    communication. Imagine a handbook of common signs. It would be a great
    quick reference they could put in their pocket.

    Second, imagine taking a sign language class at school. To learn a new
    vocabulary, it would be really silly to write the English name for the
    signs you learned. You'll get home with a list of spoken words and
    forget what the sign was. The sign for dog isn't the word "dog".
    Having the written sign language would be a great study aid.

    Third, imagine a person who's first language is sign language. They not
    only use sign language to communicate with others, they also use sign
    language to think. The voice in your head is there because the language
    center of your brain is wired to the primary auditory cortex. Native
    signers have a different brain configuration. The language center of
    their brain is wired to the primary visual cortex. They think in sign

    If a native signer wants to write a letter, they could think and write
    in their primary language. This is an easy and natural process. If
    they wanted to write in a spoken language, unless they are extremely
    fluent, they'd think is sign language, translate what they were
    thinking, and then write the spoken language. The translation step is a
    hindrance in writing.


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