is a writing system which uses visual
symbols to represent the handshapes,
movements, and facial expressions of
signed languages. It is an "alphabet"
- a list of symbols used to write any
signed language in the world.
SignWriting alphabet can be compared
to the alphabet we use to write English,
the Roman alphabet. The Roman alphabet
can be used to write many different
spoken languages. While each language
may add or subtract one or two symbols,
the same basic symbols we use to write
English are used to write Danish, German,
French and Spanish. The Roman alphabet
is international, but the languages
it writes are not.
the same way, the symbols in the SignWriting
alphabet are international and can be
used to write American Sign Language,
Danish Sign Language, Norwegian Sign
Language, British Sign Language, Dutch
Sign Language - any signed language
makes it possible to have books, newspapers,
magazines, dictionaries, and literature
written in signs. It can be used to
teach signs and signed language grammar
to beginning signers, or it can be used
to teach other subjects, such as math,
history, or English to skilled signers.