SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

 Search by Date Search by Subject
 Search Archive 2 Search Archive 3

February 18, 1998

SUBJECT: Help In Research

Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 01:17:58 EST
Subject: Help in Research

My name is Cecelia Smith. I am a student in the Masters of Linguistics program at Gallaudet University. This semester I have the opportunity to research any topic I choose that is at least "loosely" related to linguistics, as a sort of "practice thesis" for the big one next year.

Although I cannot focus specifically on Sign Writing, as an over all subject, I have decided to use this chance to investigate writing for signed languages.

So, I am apealing to the list for any information you may have... I have already done some preliminary research, but know that I have undoubtedly overlooked a lot.

If you have time, and could provide information, references, or suggestions for places for me to investigate, please feel free to send me information at this address:

Also.. as a possible guide line, my professor says that the following must be answered in my research:

1) What is the "big picture" ... why is a writing system important to have for signed languages separate from the spoken langauge writing systems in place already. Include a historical perspective of the topic

2) What is the linguistic value of a writing system for signed langagues that is better than or more appropriate than the transcription systems already in place.

3) Why should she (or anyone else) care? People have been trying to develop writing systems for ages. Why not just give it up as impossible.

4) How will I go about researching an area that is practically void of any prior research. Describe my methods and plan of attack. I must produce a potential bibliography of at least 30 resources.

5.) Identify who would possibly be interested in reading a paper on this topic, or going to hear a presentation about it. Why should they. Who could possibly benifit from my research?

If you have the time or inclination to answer any or all of the above, I appreciate it. Also... if you do, may I use your name and location (ie: Cecelia Smith, Washington DC) as a reference.

I appreciate ANY information regarding any system for writing signs. Naturally including SignWriting.

I am trying to find out what is out there that is in use, what really works, and how is it being used. Also, I am interested in the implications of using a writing system for education of deaf children and also for second language learners.

Thank you all so much for your time and your responses. If there is an interest, I will be happy to post my final paper to Valerie for distribution.

Cecelia Smith