Re: Writing a proposal for an unusual script: SignWriting

From: Justin Kerk (
Date: Sun Jun 13 2010 - 16:11:17 CDT

  • Next message: Stephen Slevinski: "Re: Writing a proposal for an unusual script: SignWriting"

    On 6/12/2010 9:56 AM, Stephen Slevinski wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> Even though script elements can be written on the canvas anywhere,
    >> there are a limited number of /relative/ positions in which given
    >> elements can appear.
    > Good writing is based on aesthetics. It is an iconic writing system.
    > Logically, there should be a limited number of relative positions, but
    > there are many exceptions.
    > Just considering how to position a hand and a head, there are numerous
    > positions inside and outside the head. The palm could be on the chin,
    > nose, forehead, right cheek, left cheek, right ear, left ear. And those
    > are just the obvious positions inside the head. Sometimes it takes a
    > fine adjustment to make the writing feel right.


    >> For signwriting, there will undoubtedly be numerous relative placements for hand elements (over the head, beside the face, chest height, wide, forward, waist height, opposite side, etc), but it would be truly sad if we were forced by lack of imagination to settle for a coordinate system.
    > I'm trying to understand how any script encoding would not devolved into
    > a convoluted coordinate based system of degrees and distance.
    > But, I'll suspend my disbelief and assume that an alternate encoding is
    > possible. What would be gained? Searching? Sorting? Parsing?

    If it's really this flexible, how do people type it? Surely you don't
    have to specify the exact coordinates of each sign every time you want
    to input a word? What stops everyone from using slightly different
    coordinates for the same words and creating an unsearchable mess? (Look
    at the trouble people have with spelling when the letters are all
    reasonably distinct!)

    -Justin Kerk

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Jun 13 2010 - 16:13:56 CDT