On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Adam Walker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Sutton's Sign Writing is being used in practical daily-life applications
> for several signed languages already.

That validation helps ease my concerns about whether it would work, in
a practical sense, for at least my own note-taking in class.

> ASL users continue to reject SW
> partly on political grounds. (It was invented by a hearing person.)  But
> Catalan Sign Language is producing magazines in SW as well as educational
> materials, etc.

I hadn't realized that non-ASL sign languages were embracing SignWriting. Cool!

> One of the drawbacks of using SW is no unicode support, at least not that I
> am aware of.

There is a Unicode proposal — see — which Michael
Everson is involved in.

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:24 AM, Michael Everson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> "Some ASL users", please. Many ASL users do not reject it, and there have been
> PhD theses at Gallaudet dealing with it, and I know one native ASL speaker who
> is Deaf who is a user and is working with me and others to encode SW in the
> Universal Character Set.

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Adam Walker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> If you read my whole message, I mentioned at then end that I also know Deaf
> ASL users who use and/or promote SW, but there IS significant resistance to
> the idea, much of it politically motivated.  Witness the original poster's
> reception when he asked about writting systems for ASL on ASL fora.

I'm glad to hear that there are some ASL speakers who support & use
SignWriting, but it seems disingenuous to imply that there is not a
strong community rejection of it.

As of now, there is an 18-post forum thread about this. Not a single
Deaf person has spoken in favor of even the *idea* of having a written
form of ASL. Unless the Deaf people on the forum are wildly
unrepresentative of the Deaf community at large, I think it's fair to
say written ASL is quite unpopular.

The most popular and vocal arguments Deaf people had against written ASL were:

- ASL is already visual; it doesn't need another visual form

- when Deaf people want to write, they write in English; they don't
want or need to learn yet another writing system

And there were many other arguments too:

- ASL has never been a written language and never will be

- ASL should only be "broken down in writing for linguistics purposes"
but not for communication

- video is the appropriate recording medium, not writing

- writing is what hearing people do; signing is what deaf people do

- ASL is too complex to be able to be written down; you would lose too
much nuance

- no one uses written ASL, so no one has any motivation to learn it
(chicken & egg)

No Deaf person on the forum objected to any of the above arguments;
they merely piled on their own addition reasons why they didn't need
or want a written form of ASL. I wonder if, because you have been
working with the SignWriting community directly, you see a skewed
minority of Deaf signers supporting it?

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Adam Walker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Practically every Deaf person I have known who has actual
> experience with SW is in someway involved in the linguistics community, ie
> not typical people of ANY language community.

This is an interesting observation, but it does make sense. Folks into
linguistics definitely have a different perspective on language use
than the general speaking community, whether that be English speakers
or ASL signers or any other group.