Hooked "L"

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Jul 15 15:09:58 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
July 15, 2003

Hello Everyone, and Ingvild...
The dot for the thumb forward is not new...in 1995 I created the symbol
set that we are using today in SignWriter DOS...at that time it was SW
4.3...and the Parkhursts in Spain were the first to receive that
version...I specifically put in those symbols for the Parkhursts,
because they needed a series of handshapes with the thumb forward...and
they had to be distinctly different than when the thumb is projecting

Although these are not new symbols, you may never need them in
Norwegian Sign Language, so if your language doesn't use a thumb
forward, then there is no need for you to include those handshapes in
your Norwegian lessons...there are lots of hands in the listing that I
would not use to write ASL too, and those are some of them...I put them
in specifically for Spain...

Meanwhile, we could always use the thumb as a dot, whenever the thumb
comes directly at the reader, but several years ago, on the SignWriting
List, we discussed that in great detail, and I thought we all had
decided that it is nice to be able to see the thumb when it is
side...so we are using the dot for the thumb forward when it projects
towards the reader, but not when the thumb is projecting side...Take a
look at these web pages with the discussion we had on the List about
this years ago:

Thumb Forward

Regarding whether it is counterintuitive or not, the problem is that
some hands can be greatly confused with others if there are not rules
of some kind, and if there are not true differences from each
other...So if you want to discuss one specific symbol that feels
counterintuitive to you, please post that specific symbol with a GIF,
as I cannot guess which one you mean...

By the way, of course I know it looks a little silly with the index
finger on one side of the square, and the thumb projecting forward on
the opposite side of the square, but at least there is a consistent
rule as to when that happens, and it happens with symbols that are not
used that much....plus the little testing I did with readers, they
seemed to be able to differentiate between the symbols while reading,
and that is important too...The Parkhusts devoted several pages in
their textbook on these symbols with the thumb forward...

So, send me a GIF to show me the specific symbol that is bothering you -

Val ;-)

On Tuesday, July 15, 2003, at 02:37 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:

> In the Spanish drawings and symbols, the thumb forward is following the
> (new?) convention of a point instead of a line when viewed head-on.
> In your second part of this little lesson, the hand symbols are viewed
> palm facing, and not only the thumb, but also the index has shifted.
> This
> is very counterintuitive.
> So sorry, but yes, I still have questions.
> But do enjoy time with your family,
> Ingvild

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