Different finger pos
signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Sep 18 16:51:16 UTC 2006
September 18, 2006
On Sep 18, 2006, at 8:48 AM, Sebastian Waschik wrote:
> Also ich meine die Symbol 018 und 009 (Seite 71+70). Ob Symbol 018
> identisch ist mit 009, wenn man den Daumen weglässt. Wenn die gleich
> sind, hat mich etwas irritiert, dass das eine Symbol gebogene
> Linien hat
> und das andere eckige. Aber vielleicht denke ich auch etwas
> anders ;-)
> und vor mir hatte noch keiner das Problem. Die Symbole sind natürlich
> im IMWA genauso.
AltaVista Babel translation of the German above:
Thus I mean those symbol 018 and 009 (page 71+70). Whether symbol is
identical 018 with 009, if one omits the thumb. If is alike, somewhat
it irritated me that symbol has curved lines and the other angular.
Perhaps but I think also somewhat differently; -) and before me still
no the problem had. The symbols are naturally in the IMWA exactly the
Hello Sebastian and Stefan!
So glad you are responding to each other in German and keep going...I
I will just insert one thought to explain...
Technically the symbols have a tiny bit of meaning difference...the
curved ones are curved fingers, and the others are bent in tighter
way....very tight bend versus a relaxed more curved bend...
SignWriting is handwritten around the world and began as a
handwritten system...Computers came into the picture later in
But when signers wrote by hand years ago, these tiny differences were
not as obvious, because you know how messy any handwriting can
be?...but in computers we can really see the differences in a sharper
Technically every bend of every finger could have two variations in
the IMWA...there could always be a tight-bend and a relaxed-curved-
bend for every handshape that has bent fingers...that would certainly
be more consistent. But it would also add a huge amount of symbols to
the IMWA...and most signed languages do not need all those variations
for daily writing...
So why did we choose some to be curved and others to be bent tightly?
Because when we looked at people's handwritten notes in ASL and DSL...
(American Sign Language and Danish Sign Language)...the two signed
languages we wrote first with SignWriting back in the 1980's...those
were the choices people seemed to choose...and meanwhile our software
had memory limitations years ago, so we chose one or the other based
Is that consistent? No. But have you seen written English lately?
Nothing can be more inconsistent than the English writing system,
when it comes to spellings and choices of sound-writing-combinations!
That is not an excuse, just to give you perspective...I know in
Germany you have an excellent way to spell your spoken-language-words
that is more consistent than English, so it is understandable that
you want consistency...
In time I suppose we could add all those variations to the IMWA, and
then experts in each country would have to decide which symbols they
want to use for their specific signed languages...this will take
time, so for now, when you write by hand, you can write as you
wish...it is only the computers that are limited!
More information about the Sw-l