SignWriting Rootshapes & Action Fingers

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Dec 20 16:37:05 UTC 2012

SignWriting List
December 20, 2012

SignWriting Rootshapes & Action Fingers

A discussion asked me about the foundation shapes of Hand Symbols.

Each Hand Symbol foundation is called a Rootshape in our SignWriting terminology. Each Rootshape construction has a rule.

For example, the square for the Tight Fist must have at least one finger touching the palm of the hand.

A 5-Hand does not have any fingers touching the palm of the hand, so the square for the fist cannot be used as the Rootshape…it must be the Flat Shape, as the base, for the 5-Hand…

When constructing a Hand Symbol that is not in the ISWA 2010, be sure to choose the correct Rootshape for your new Hand Symbol. All Rootshapes are in the ISWA 2010. Then attach lines for any Action Fingers. See diagram attached…

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