Above: Valerie Sutton teaching SignWriting in 1985.

Diagram Right: Animation of
Valerie's Sign Name by Stefan Woehrmann

A Message From The Author

SignWriting is opening new frontiers of communication for signers. This present generation of signers, who are learning to read and write signed languages for the first time, are setting the groundwork for future generations.

SignWriting does not change signed languages. It is a set of visually designed symbols that records how people sign. SignWriting captures on paper the visual subtleties of any signed language in the world, because it records body movement.

I developed SignWriting out of respect and awe for the beauty and sophistication of all signed languages. I am not a linguist, but I have a tremendous love for learning languages. I will never cease in my fascination and utter amazement at the richness of signed languages. Because I respect the Sign Languages of the world, I want to write them and preserve them.

Obviously I have not done this enormous task alone. SignWriting has been developed through a collaboration. I am most grateful for all of the Deaf people who have helped me improve SignWriting and shape its destiny. SignWriting is a living, ever-expanding writing system that is changing for the better, as more Deaf people become involved.

These Lessons Online will introduce some of the basics of Sign Writing. If you would like to learn more, the Lessons In SignWriting Video Series and the Lessons In SignWriting CD-ROM may be the answer for you. Or you may want to use SignWriter, our computer program for typing signs. You can learn more about these and other publications in the SignWriting Catalog or buy them online, in the SignWriting Shop.

Please feel free to contact us...we love to hear from you! 

Valerie Sutton
Inventor, SignWriting

Lessons in SignWriting
Table of Contents

Covers & Credits

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5
Finger Movement

Chapter 6
Straight Movement

Chapter 7
Curved Movement

Chapter 8
Axial Movements

Chapter 9
Circular Movement

Chapter 10
Facial Expressions

Chapter 11
Head Movement

Chapter 12
Body Movement

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15
Receptive View



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