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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Dec 6 16:53:00 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
December 6, 2004

Stephen Slevinski wrote:
> As a programmer, I prefer right-handed signs in the dictionary.  If I
> know
> what to expect, I can generate a left-handed dictionary automatically.
>  I
> can either flip the image, or manipulate the SWML.  If something is
> consistent and predictable, it is easier for programmers to use.

Hello Stephen and Everyone!
Thanks for this idea...but actually this is dangerous for other
reasons. When we write left-handed signs, the colors of the arrowheads
reverse, as you know...The dark arrowhead, which represents the right
hand, and the left arrowhead, as you know, is the white or hollow
arrowhead...and those will change...

When signers are amidexterous (sp? ;-)...namely that they use both left
and right handed signs interchangeably, there are times when the right
hand crosses way over to the left side, so you will have
unpredictabilty with the way signs are produced...

So if your dictionary signs will be used to create SWML, you will be
making it impossible to transcribe from videotape, because if one
really writes the way a person signs, then you will not be having a
standard right and left...

Keeping basic dictionary entries right handed is fine...it is just sad
to think we would be limited for SignText and other sentence-making

It would mean that you would not be able to discuss a left-handed sign
inside an email message written in SignWriting - ha!

Val ;-)

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