Ethiopian Manual Alphabet(EMA)

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Jul 19 18:50:10 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
July 19, 2005

> On Jul 19, 2005, at 10:51 AM, Charles Butler wrote:
> Here you go, this is my take on handshapes.

Hello Charles and Eyasu!
Thanks to you both for your writing of the Ethiopian hand positions...

I am glad to see that Eyasu could generally write what he needed in  
the attached diagram. You are right, Charles, that every position  
could be slightly different...with varying degrees of thumb  
positions. When we write by hand, that minute detail can be written  
easily, but when we are working with computers, for me to add every  
minute detail of the thumb, would be weeks and weeks of work on my  
part, and would add thousands of new symbols into the  
IMWA....therefore I do not want to start adding more symbols until I  
am sure that Ethiiopians couldn't read and use and what we have in  
the IMWA already...That is why I am not jumping in and adding new  
symbols immediately, until Eyasu can tell me what symbols are really  
unreadable...those I can add new symbols for...but sometimes drawings  
and illustrations do not always capture the way things are really  

Every new thumb variation will add 96 symbols to the

And recently I got criticised by someone for getting too detailed, so  
that is why I am trying to find a balance...

So Eyasu, from the attached, are there any symbols where you feel the  
thumb MUST be different to be readable by other Ethiopians?

I am happy to add those new symbols to the IMWA upon request...

And thanks for your feedback, Charles - Val ;-)

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Picture 1.png
Type: image/png
Size: 51853 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list