GS-Media gsmedia at DPLANET.CH
Tue Apr 22 14:46:03 UTC 2003

Dear Valerie, Stuart - and all,

In discussing Stuart's exchange with Valerie about how to write the ASL
sign meaning 'next, next, next', Siv and I were reminded again of a
recurring problem we have about signs in which the movement is repeated.
One such sign that Siv is working on now is the Swiss German sign for
FROG (FROSCH).  The passive hand is a flat hand with palm up.  The
active hand begins with a modified O handshape (fore and middle fingers
bent to contact the thumb), with the palm facing the floor, the
fingertips in contact near the heel of the palm.

Now here comes the interesting part - the movement.
The handshape opens up into a European 3 hand (fore, middle fingers and
thumb outstretched), while simultaneously making a jumping forward
movement.  As the hand descends to 'land' on the palm, the hand closes
again into the original modified O handshape. From the point on the palm
where the hand has landed,  the whole movement is then repeated.

Attached is our SW spelling for FROSCH. If anyone would like a Quicktime
movie of this sign (212 KB), let me know and I can send it to you

For linguistic research purposes, we want our spelling to contain the
following information about this sign:

a) A 'full notation', giving both finger movements and the resulting
handshapes. (Although this is redundant information, we would like to be
able to search our databank later for either the handshapes involved or
the type of movement.)

b) The simultaneity of the finger opening and closing movements with the
arm jumping forward movement.

c) The fact that the whole sign is repeated. For linguistic research, it
would be good to be able to search for signs with repeated movements.
This would be a much easier search if there were a symbol for
'repeitition'.  Perhaps there is a symbol for 'repetition' already built
into SignBank, which we haven't found yet.  What we are using at the
moment is a single quote symbol for each repetition.

We realize that the kinds of things we might need for research sometimes
make the reading of the sign more complicated.  For that reason, we are
considering putting two kinds of spellings into our databank: a full
linguistic spelling and a 'reduced, easy to read' spelling for
children's books, etc.

All for now - from sunny, springy Zurich.

Penny and Siv
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