SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

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April 7, 1998

SUBJECT: Message #2 from Brazil...

Date: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 10:22:19 -0400
From: "Delamar Weber & Ronice M. de Quadros" <>
To: SignWriting <>
Subject: Brazil

To post

I would like to talk about the Marianne Stumpf comments about her experiences with SignWriting:

Marianne Stumpf stated:
1) "the students from high school are learning SignWriting faster than the young students. This seems to be related with the knowledge of sign language;"
2) "some students don't enjoy to write in SignWriting;"

The first two points seem to be related. I was thinking about them. What is the meaning of SignWriting for these students? Before this question, what is the meaning of reading and writing for these students? Why is it important, if it is important, to read and write? I am not looking for precise answers for these questions, but I am curious about them. I think that the possible explanation that Marianne gave to the first point indicates that there is something related with these questions and with domain of abilities. What do our students know about reading sign language, to produce stories in sign language? What do we know about the process of elaboration of stories in sign language? Maybe, the older students are thinking more about this than the young ones. I suggest to Marianne to think about these questions. SignWriting will be a consequence of the representation of reading and writing that students have.

Marianne Stumpf stated: 3) "it seems that SignWriting needs to be simplified because there are too much symbols and this is difficult to remember when people are writing."

I remember that we had discussed about this before. I think that this is a very interesting point. Some writing systems are more simplified than the way they are pronounced when spoken. For example, Hebraic use to skip the vowels when it is written. Also, we have a lot of research that analyzed the big differences between the writing and spoken systems. I had suggested that, maybe, this will happen with SignWriting and sign language. However, I think that this we can know just when this system will be used as a real resource. That is, when SignWriting will be a system that is disseminated, in which everyone is in touch with it (for example, TTY with SignWriting, books and books with SignWriting, newspapers with SignWriting, ...), the system will show us what symbols are not needed to be written. This is beginning to happen! Smile.

Ronice Müller de Quadros

115 Courtyard Lane
Storrs-CT 06268 USA
Phone (860) 429-1709