Ordering Signs

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Dec 2 02:51:42 UTC 2009

I understand your need for location order as second, I just would put "neutral space" (like ZERO) before 1 (top of head).  


From: Gagnon et Thibeault <atg at videotron.ca>
To: SignWriting List <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 8:59:22 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Ordering Signs

Hi Charles and 
      You mentioned that you are first  
using the Handshape order and then the Location order. I do the same. For 
example, I look for PLAY (ASL) in the ASL dictionary without alphabetic 
order of spoken language.  At first, I find group 6 " thumb & small 
finger" and I go to page 145. Second, I look at the 5 parts of Location order: 
1) Head, 2) Trunk, 3) Arm, 4) Hand, and 5) Neutral space. I find  Neutral 
space and go to page 169. Third, I look up quickly from high level of Neutral 
space to low level of Neutral space. I find the front chest on page 172 
and  look for an exact  writtien ASL for PLAY. I find it and look at 
the English word " to play" on page 173. I hope this 
      You know that Deaf children do not 
have experience using the alphabetic order of SignWriting in the dictionary. A 
Deaf teacher and I decided to place 1) Head, 2) Trunk, 3) Arm, 4) Hand, and 5) 
Neutral space, which help Deaf children easily remember Location order. This way 
was successful  looking them up quickly.  It is very important that 
Deaf children understand how to use and look up quickly their sign language in 
the dictionary.  Later, it could be changed from popular location to 
unpopular location. In  the future, in the standard dictionary, it 
will officially be: 1) Handshape order, 2) Location  order, and 3) movement 
      Charles, as first Location  order 
, you prefer Neutral space, and Head as second Location order.  it is fine 
to me. It is up to you.
      Best regards,
----- Original Message ----- 
>From: Charles Butler 
>To: SignWriting List 
>Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:10 
>  PM
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Ordering Signs
>I am still confused.  I understand your going with Location first, I 
>  tend to go with handshape first, which would put anything with an index finger 
>  together, with neutral space first, then starting from the head down, that's 
>  the only apparent difference.  Neutral or hand contact seems to happen 
>  much more in ASL than LSQ.
 From: Gagnon et Thibeault 
>  <atg at videotron.ca>
>To: >  SignWriting List <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
>Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 11:47:27 
>  AM
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] 
>  Ordering Signs
>  > 
>Hi Charles and 
>  everyone,
>    Charles, 
>  you are right.  You will see the attached "head" 
>  orders.
>  Regards,
>  André
>>    Original Message ----- 
>>From: Charles 
>>    Butler 
>>To: SignWriting List 
>>Sent: >>    Monday, November 30, 2009 1:02 PM
>>Subject: >>    Re: [sw-l] Ordering Signs
>>I'm not sure how to read your dictionary, Andre,
>>The first four 
>>    entries seem to be by head.  Is that intentional?  I was trying to 
>>    follow your logic and compare it to what I had proposed and using handshape 
>>    as the first entry, and then location, the first four signs would follow 
>>    differently.  The way you placed the BSL sign language I agree with, 
>>    I'm just trying to understand your system.
>>    Butler
 From: Valerie Sutton 
>>    <sutton at signwriting.org>
>>To: SignWriting List 
>>    <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
>>Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009 12:23:21 
>>    PM
>>Subject: Re: [sw-l] 
>>    Ordering Signs
>>SignWriting List
>>November 30, 
>>    2009
>>Hello Andre!
>>I feel soooo happy to receive this message from 
>>    you. What a remarkable message this is. Very few people in the history of 
>>    SignWriting can provide information on testing how Deaf children look up 
>>    signs, by Sign Symbols, in dictionaries written in SignWriting. That is 
>>    because very few people have classrooms of Deaf children fluent in 
>>    SignWriting, and your classroom in French-Canada, using LSQ, is one of those 
>>    historic places, that we can point to, when discussing the theories on 
>>    sign-symbol-searches.
>>Of course there are classrooms around the world 
>>    using SignWriting...Stefan Woehrmann's classroom in Germany, for example, 
>>    and classrooms in Nicaragua and Belgium and Brazil and other countries...and 
>>    they are all doing wonderful work...
>>Have any other teachers tested 
>>    how Deaf children look up signs in dictionaries without using any spoken 
>>    language? Just searching for signs sorted by Sign-Symbol-Sequence 
>>    (alphabetical order of SignWriting symbols)? If so, please tell us how it 
>>    worked for your students...
>>I am hoping to start, at the end of 2010, 
>>    to improve our printed dictionaries...and then distribute the printed 
>>    dictionaries to groups of signers to see if they can find signs in those 
>>    printed dictionaries, sorted by Sign-Symbols...but that project hasn't 
>>    started yet...
>>I can see, Andre, that you have already started such a 
>>    project and I am very interested to read your results...I will save this 
>>    message to refer to later...and THANK YOU for sharing with us...
>>    excites me the most, is that you have found that it is beneficial for your 
>>    Deaf students, to use SignWriting in dictionaries. That is meaningful, to 
>>    know that SignWriting is making a difference in people's lives...If it can 
>>    help some Deaf children to learn how to use dictionaries, that is 
>>    wonderful.
>>Out of the 13 different handshapes listed in Group 1 of 
>>    the ISWA, LSQ (Quebec Sign Language) only uses 5 out of the 13 
>>    handshapes...The International SignWriting Alphabet was never meant to be 
>>    used in its entirety by all sign languages...We all assume that each sign 
>>    language will only use some of the symbols in the ISWA, just as the full IPA 
>>    is not used to write this message in English...
>>So I look forward to 
>>    learning more about your project, Andre -
>>Thanks again for your 
>>    sharing with us -
>>Val ;-)
>>On Nov 
>>    29, 2009, at 3:50 AM, Gagnon et Thibeault wrote:
>>> Hi Trevor, 
>>    Charles, Gerard, Christophe, and everyone
>>>    A 
>>    Deaf teacher and I have been working on a Sign Writing LSQ (a written LSQ) 
>>    dictionary for one month now.  The Deaf teacher has been testing if 
>>    Deaf children are able to look up SW orders without alphabetic orders in the 
>>    dictionary.
>>>    It seems that it works well 
>>    because Deaf children who have difficulties to read a written French can 
>>    directly find a written LSQ to help them find a French word in the 
>>    dictionary.
>>>    Charles mentioned that handshape 
>>    orders are “index finger”, “index & middle finger”, “index finger, 
>>    middle, & thumb”, “four fingers”, “four fingers & thumb”, “thumb 
>>    & small finger”, “thumb & ring finger”, “thumb & index finger”, 
>>    and “thumb & fist”.  I focus on “Index Finger”. You will see the 
>>    attached ISWA.  The Index Finger has 13 different handshapes from ISWA 
>>    in the world. However, the Index Finger of the LSQ has only 5 different 
>>    handshapes.
>>>    In addition, you will see the 
>>    attached location orders.  Location orders have 5 parts: 1) head & 
>>    neck, 2) trunk & leg, 3) arm, 4) hand, 5) neutral space.  If you 
>>    look up a written LSQ in the dictionary, you must think from the high level 
>>    of location to the low level of location. Contact symbols which include 
>>    touch, hit, rub and so forth interact with a specific area of the 
>>    body.  If the hand or the finger touches the nose, you look up quickly 
>>    a head location order.  For example, if a signer produces BELIEVE 
>>    (ASL), the index finger touches the middle front: you look up a “head” 
>>    location order.  Another example, if the signer produces SHOW (ASL), 
>>    the index finger of the right hand touches the palm of the left hand. You 
>>    look up a hand location order.  If the signer produces ONE (ASL), the 
>>    index finger is the  front of the shoulder without contact 
>>    symbols.  You look up a last (neutral space) location order.
>>>    You will see the attached SW orders.  You will 
>>    find a first page.  You look up index finger and location orders. EYE 
>>    (LSQ) is a highest level of the head than higher level of the head for TOOTH 
>>    (LSQ) than a high level of the head for CANDY (LSQ) than a low level of the 
>>    head for TO SAY (LSQ).
>>>    Trevor, if the signer 
>>    who uses a British manual alphabet produces “A” (BSL), the index finger of 
>>    the right hand touches the thumb of the left hand (handshape 5).  You 
>>    look up an index finger order and a hand location order in the BSL 
>>    dictionary.  If the signer produces “I” (BSL), the index finger of the 
>>    right hand touches the tip of the middle finger of the left hand 
>>    (handshape  5).  You look up an index finger order and a hand 
>>    location order. You will see the attached SW orders (page 21).
>>>    We will adjust and test the LSQ dictionary.  We 
>>    are still working on it.  If Trevor, Charles or everyone takes a (SW) 
>>    workshop or attends a (SW) conference, we will be happy to teach him/her how 
>>    to look up quickly your own sign language in the dictionary.
>>>    Best regards,
>>    André
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