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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Dec 2 15:33:32 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
December 2, 2008

Hello Ingvild and Charles!
Thanks for your messages below...

And yes, Ingvild, I agree that viewing the symbols in a row, is not  
the same as applying them to writing in real life...99 per cent of the  
time, signs are relating to the "center of the body"...especially when  
people are signing fast...all of our old and current writing is  
relating to the "Center rule" without us even realizing just  
happens naturally that the majority of signs do not twist "out"  
the majority have fingers directed to the center area of the sign...

And yes, Charles, of course there are some exceptions...twisting a jar  
may have a "twist" to it, and that would be one of those exceptions  
where possibly you will need the outside projection of the  
fingers...which is one of the 10 palm facings not included in our  
software, and that is can find that symbol down lower in  
the Symbol Palette...all the symbols are there for you to choose from...

But in general, 9 times out of 10, the symbols feel better directed  
toward the center...and are written that way in this  
sign for CLOWN in the diagram below....

Val ;-)


On Dec 2, 2008, at 3:32 AM, Ingvild Roald 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
> --------

On Dec 2, 2008, at 3:58 AM, Charles Butler wrote:
> 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
> out.
> Charles

> 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 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 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...
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Hands1.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 86829 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------


SW-L SignWriting List

Post Message
SW-L at

List Archives and Help

Change Email Settings

More information about the Sw-l mailing list