Cuescript, devised by Mary Elsie Daisey, is a system for transcribing cued language. Cuescript uses lines to depict hand configurations (i.e., handshapes). Each drawing of the hand may appear on a line drawing of a face (to show placement) or alone with a letter placed beneath to indicate the vowel cue. Like cue notation, cuescript is not intended to function as the written form of cued English. Cuers read and write in the written form of the language they cue (e..g., English). Cuescript is simply a tool to transcribe cues so that novice cuers can record how to cue words and phrases while learning. It can also be used in instructional materials to show how the reader should cue a given word, phrase, or sentence.

Benefits of Cuescript

One benefit of cuescript over other systems of transcription, like cue notation, is that cuescript uses line drawings. Considering the level of abstract representation, line drawings of handshapes and placements somewhat resemble the actual handshapes and placements. The viewer can somewhat easily go from the depiction of a two straight lines to the extension of the index and middle fingers. However, when interpreting cue notation, the viewer must translate numbers to the handshapes that they serve to represent. For example, the depiction of the actual number “2” to the extension of the index and middle fingers. This adds an extra layer of abstraction that is not necessary in cuescript.

Disadvantages of Cuescript

In some cases, the depiction of lines for cuescript occurs without the context of the hand. For example, the depiction of a single line represents the extension of a single finger, but the viewer must know which finger is intended. There is no representation of retracted fingers or the thumb to assist the viewer in recognizing that a single line always refers to the index finger.

Additionally, the presentation of cuescript is generally in a horizontal orientation. That is, the lines that depict the fingers are parallel to the horizon. The hand, however, never occurs actually occurs in this presentation when cueing. The hand-wrist-forearm should remain in a straight line and be placed in an approximate 45-degree angle to the horizon.

There are currently no computer programs or fonts that allow cuers to quickly encode cues into cuescript. This is a disadvantage over cue notation, which can be easily typed as letters and numbers from any standard keyboard. The use of cuescript in documents requires drawings by hand or the insertion of relatively large images that require additional attention to formatting.

See Also

cue notation