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

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Dec 2 11:58:15 UTC 2008

I have to say that I write the palms and the thumbs
wherever the majority of the fingers are.  If I am
writing a squirrel opening a nut, then the fingers
would have to revolve all the way out, they don't stay
in the center of the body, they actually do travel


--- Ingvild Roald <iroald at> wrote:

> Maybe we all have to remember that we are working
> with *symbols*, not with lifelike *drawings*. Then
> it is easier to apply the rules and understand them.
> - I like the explanation and examples given by Val
> here. They make sense.
> Ingvild 
> From: signwriting at
> To: sw-l at
> Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 17:21:12 -0800
> CC: stefanwoehrmann at
> Subject: [sw-l] Animated GIFs of ISWA Hands, Group
> 1, 2 and 3...
> SignWriting ListNovember 30, 2008
> On Nov 30, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann
> wrote:Just a question about    01-03-011-01 
> IndexMiddleThumb CupI 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
> different...
> 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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