AW: [sw-l] Hand shape symbol EMA 28

SignWriting signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Apr 16 14:57:19 UTC 2009

SignWriting List
April 16, 2009

Hello Stefan and Eyasu!
This is wonderful work. I am so glad to know you are working together  
on this project ;-)

If you go to the Ethiopian SignPuddle:

Ethiopian SignPuddle

And click on the Dictionary:

Ethiopian Sign Language Dictionary

You will see that I added 3 possible handshapes. They are under  
"Handshape Test 1" and "Handshape Test 2"...and "Handshape Test 3" so  
search for them...later you can delete them...

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: EthiopiaHandshapes2.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 10655 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------

The "I" hand...with the baby finger sticking up, has the baby finger  
at an angle. Obviously most people actually do that handshape with the  
baby finger straight up, but through research (we asked people to read  
the handshapes to see if they could read them)  our DAC members in the  
1980's and I found that most people confused the straight baby finger  
line with the Index Finger and mis-read the baby finger for the Index,  
time and time again...even though the baby finger line was shorter  
than the was still a rule was created for  
SignWriting (not Movement Writing) that the baby finger is always at  
an angle, then it could not be confused with the index  
that is why I always write the baby finger at an angle, even when it  
looks straight this has nothing to do with Movement SignWriting we are trying to get an everyday writing  
system that the majority of people can read without is  
a different focus than writing 100 per cent the way each signer  
looks...but instead trying to find a more standard way of writing that  
becomes second nature for most readers over time...and can be read  

The other issue is the thumb horizontal across the hand...for me it  
looks like that, but if you don't want the thumb across the palm, I  
showed one example, using the M handshape (group 6) which has the  
thumb going across without us writing it across...but just adding the  
Baby Finger line...that is Test 1 above...

There is a third alternative, if you prefer, which is very accurate,  
and that is three dots for the fingers projecting straight  
forward...the dots are good because they take away the issues of the  
10 palm facings that we have discussed before...but they are more  
complicated to we don't always use them...

OK. So whatever your choice is fine...I wish you all the best with  
your project and look forward to seeing your fine work...

And Eyasu - thank you for your patience with me...I promised to send  
you a donation of books, and I got confused by a new economy that left  
me without the funds to send it, but I am planning to send it this  
week...I would like to send you four textbooks: The Lessons in  
SignWriting Textbook, the SignWriting Lessons Book from Spain in  
English, the SignWriting Basics Instruction Manual, and one other  
book...I hope this will help you learn SignWriting...and please feel  
free to ask technical questions on the SignWriting List anytime...I am  
more than happy to help you learn how to write some signs in your  
Ethiopian SignPuddle....if you can show me a sign, I can show you how  
to write it...or perhaps Stefan is already helping you this way? and  
that is perfect!!

So have a wonderful day everyone!

Val ;-)


On Apr 16, 2009, at 6:45 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

> Hi Valerie,
> thank you so much for your quick response. There are only two more  
> days -
> then I have to go back to school. That is the reason that I am  
> concentrating
> on this in order to get it done in time.
> Well the document - you published on your website is still not the  
> final
> result. There have to be discussed quite a lot of hand shapes and  
> especially
> orientations. So we will send the final document soon ...
> I am looking forward to see your suggestion how to write that given  
> hand
> shape. Well and many hand shapes look look very close but as I had  
> to find
> out did not represent exactly what the deaf people in Ethiopia do.  
> Without
> the expert Eyasu in Ethiopia there would be no chance to succeed--  
> smile
> All the best
> Stefan ;-)
-------------- 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