[sw-l] left-handed or right-handed?

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Dec 6 14:05:58 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
December 6, 2004

SW List, Kathleen, Kristof -
Right-handed signs and left-handed signs can both be written. Just as 
we can understand a left-handed signer, when we watch the person sign, 
in the same way, we can read a left-handed sign on paper too...So 
reading right or left-handed signs is no different than watching a 
person sign that way...

Some dictionary Editors make a policy that they only want to add 
right-handed signs to the dictionary because then it is more standard 
and since the majority of the world uses right-handed signs, the left 
handed versions are not included in their dictionaries...

But policies are established by the Editors of different dictionaries 
and I no longer worry about this issue...I personally don't care very 
much about left and right handed signs...I read SignWriting for the 
dominant and non-dominant hands and I don't notice if they are left or 
right handed signs most of the time, just as I wouldn't if someone was 
signing to me...

So dictionary policies are up to each individual Editor...our Spelling 
rules have nothing to do with left or right...but they do have rules 
related to dominant and non-dominant...

We can talk more about the reasons why some of your students may have 
problems with reading some signs...it may be the way the signs are 
written...so I would write the signs for BABY differently and I will 
post that next...

Thanks for writing!

Val ;-)
Sutton at SignWriting.org


Kasterlinden Bilinguaal wrote:

> Hello Val :o) and list
>  Look forward to reading these messages on the SW-list about the way 
> we write the signs. SignSpelling! Sounds interessting.
>  Yesterday I was in Turnhout. Kristof was there too ;) We discused 
> 'left' signs and 'right' signs in SignWriting. Some of my student have 
> a dominant left hand, most student sign right-handed. Now Kristof is 
> left-handed so I wrote down the sign 'baby' the way I sign it.
>  <baby.png>You see my right hand is on top of the left hand, and the 
> movement starts to the right.
>  <baby_2.png>This is the way Kristof signs baby. The left hand is on 
> top and the movement starts to the left.
>  I know this is more a linguistic isue than a SignWriting topic. But I 
> just wanted to let you know what's on my mind. ;)
>  Because I've noticed in my classes that some students sign 
> left-handed. When they read the papers I've made, it is written from 
> right-handed signing. Because my dominant hand is the right one. They 
> automatically use their left hand, but sometimes when I make a 
> sentence with a discription of a situation * (location) they sign it 
> wrong because they read it differently. That's because they 
> always transfer my signs to their left hand, they also do it when they 
> use location, and that is where the problem lies. The location is the 
> same for right or left-handed signers. (I hope this is not to 
> confusing :s)
>  *example: there is a boy on the right - a girl on the left. They read 
> - boy on the left - girl on the right.
>  So to be completely correct I would have to make two papers of every 
> exercise: one for the right handed kids, and one for the left handed 
> kids. Right? ;)
> Greetings Kathleen
>  Goedkope lening nodig? 
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