Animated GIFs of ISWA Hands, Group 1, 2 and 3...

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Dec 1 01:21:12 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
November 30, 2008

On Nov 30, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> Just a question about    01-03-011-01  IndexMiddleThumb Cup
> I cannot understand your interpretation of the palm facing the  
> signer but thumb, index and middlefinger on the left side  ...Just  
> interested ...Stefan ;-)


Hello Stefan, Adam and Everyone -

Thanks for your question, Stefan...and yes...frame by frame photos  
will be good too - I agree!

I suspect your question is related to the differences between the  
Parkhurst palm facing rules and the ISWA palm facing rules, which are  

We do write differently...but we can still read each other's writing,  
so that is all that matters ;-))

In the ISWA handshapes, straight fingers, or fingers that are "up",  
are generally on the right side of the square when your right palm is  
facing you, as you have already noticed I am sure...

But bent or curved or angled or hinged fingers, which are pointing  
forward in a group, are a different group of handshapes...they follow  
the "Center Rule". The "Center" of the body is the focus in the  
ISWA...we do not have a Thumb although it may look a little  
funny in the Animated GIFs, because the fingers are over on the other  
side, when we start to write signs it definitely is the only way that  
feels comfortable if you are focusing on writing signs revolving  
around the "Center of the Body" the natural way that we sign...

In the ISWA I was able to clean up some of the old symbols that were  
not consistent with this Center Rule from years past, in older  
software, so if we had been consistent with the Center Rule long ago,  
I suspect that the Parkhurst rule about thumbs may not have been  
necessary...but of course we cannot go back on the past and it is all  
ok ;-)

I am planning to write a whole chapter on this in a new book I am  
writing on the ISWA, but tonight I need to write a grant for getting  
more funds for our non-profit, so I will be happy to answer more  
questions about this at the end of this week...and no problem at is important to understand it...

Here is the best diagram I can show at the moment...Perhaps Adam can  
give you some more perspective on this...the Animated Gifs are just  
showing "cold" symbols, but when the symbols are used in actual  
writing the Center rule becomes clearer...

Please see attached diagram with examples of the sign for EAT and  
CLOWN...I am not sure if the sign for CLOWN is even may  
be a full C handshape instead or a spread-C perhaps, but this at least  
gives an example of what I mean by the fingers directed toward the  
Center of the body...

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