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ASLwrite Summary

Transcription method for ASL


ASLwrite (ASL: ) is a somacheirographic writing system that developed from si5s. It was created to be an open-source, continuously-developing orthography for American Sign Language (ASL), trying to capture the nuances of ASL's features. ASLwrite is currently used by no more than a handful of people, primarily revolving around discussions happening on Facebook and, previously, Google Groups. However, it is currently spreading, with comic strips, posters and more becoming available.Its core components are digits, locatives, marks and movements which are written in a fairly rigid order (though in a fairly flexible configuration) from left to right. Its digits are representations of handshapes – or the configuration of the hand and fingers – where the locatives represent locations on the body (or, in theory, in space), the marks represent anything from location (e.g., edge mark) to small movements (e.g., flutter) to facial expressions (e.g., raised eyebrow mark ) and the movements indicate the movement of the hands in space by modifying the digits (and for shoulder shift /head nod modifying the body). The order of the writing is from left to right, top to bottom, with locatives or certain marks often beginning words. Sentences are ended by the full stop mark (). Questions in written ASL are denoted by eyebrow marks bounding the question not unlike Spanish's "¿ ?." Question words or wh-questions in ASL can also form the interrogative. There are in total 105 characters in ASLwrite with 67 digits, five diacritic marks, twelve locatives, sixteen extramanual marks and five movement marks. Since its creation, it has evolved to include more digits, locatives, movements and marks as well as modify those already present.

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