An interesting query on Non-Dominant Hands (NDH)

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 24 04:23:43 UTC 2009

Yes, or a discussion of history of particular signs.  I guess we need more documentation of usage in our definitions.


From: Adam Frost <icemandeaf at>
To: SignWriting List <sw-l at>
Sent: Mon, November 23, 2009 10:29:49 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] An interesting query on Non-Dominant Hands (NDH)

Yup. That's what I said. ;-) So are you asking where the "C" base is in SignPuddle?


On Nov 23, 2009, at 7:08 PM, "Charles Butler" <chazzer3332000 at> wrote:

The ASL Teacher list serve asked this question.  What shape is the Non-Dominant Hand in the sign "church".
>That is  a very interesting question, one that I have asked before to some 
>of my fellow  deafies in my community. I have seen the NDH being a C as you 
>said, as well as  a fist and a flat hand. The most memorable is when I asked 
>my friend who is  very pious which it should be for CHURCH. He said that if 
>you sign church on a  flat hand, you have a weak foundation; if you sign it 
>on a fist, you have a  firm foundation. When I asked about it with a C, he 
>said then you have a weak  foundation lazily placed. Then I joked with him 
>and said that maybe it was a  weak foundation trying to look like a firm
> one. 
>He laughed at that one. The  point being from what I have gathered from him 
>and several others is that it  really doesn't matter which of the three you 
>use when just chatting, but when  in a very formal setting to use the fist 
>base. Now whether you are teaching  your students to be apart of t_he Deaf 
>community socially or professionally  will help you decide which to teach. 
>MY Comment: 
>Here is what I find on SignPuddle -- with flat hand and with fist. 
>      Sign: Reader
>Modified: September 18, 2008 08:38
>Sign: Reader
>Source: Vanessa J.
>Modified: September 18, 2008 08:41
>Puddle page 7401
>>>From what I have noticed is that SN
> tries  to find a happy middle for those 
>who may be unsure or don't want to limit to  one or the other without 
>overloading students with too many options. Hope that  helps.  

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