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

Katrien Van Mulders katrien_vanmulders at YAHOO.COM
Mon Dec 6 18:38:20 UTC 2004

Hi everyone,

I agree with Kathleen that the Flemish Sign Language Dictionary can be confusing for those who know no (Flemish) Sign Language or SignWriting. Maybe I could add some information (to the 'information' section) to clarify a thing or two ;-)


Kasterlinden Bilinguaal <katjesaar at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

Hello list,

thank you for all this information :o) This will help me a lot.

I've been busy in the flemish dictionary making both right-handed and left-handed signs. I put the lefthanded word under 'beer_2, Goudlokje_2'... The lefthanded sign is always '_2'  I will send the 2 storybooks to Val. You can check it out for yourself ;) And Val, you will be pleased to know I had already come to the conclusion myself that the arrows change when you write lefthanded signs. ;)

later                                        later_2

Meanwhile I will try out a few things in my classes. Out of the 20 students, 2 are left-handed. I will let you know the results. ;)

In my opinion we must not forget these children. Ofcourse they have to learn to read right-handed signing because it is most common. But not trying because they are a minority? Sorry, I don't agree. Minority groups are always pushed back.

I agree that the dictionary can be mostly righthanded signs! But I was just thinking. Take a look at http://gebaren.ugent.be  If hearing people, who know no signwriting and want to learn it as well as signs they can get confused. Because Kristof makes most signs, he is lefthanded. If people look at the signwriting and then look at Kristof.. will they know the difference?


>From: "Valerie Sutton" <sutton at signwriting.org>
>Reply-To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] left-handed or right-handed?
>Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 09:03:18 -0800
>SignWriting List
>December 6, 2004
>Hello Everyone -
>No alarm bells are necessary...smile...I am not a teacher of sign
>language or deaf children, and I never plan to become one! The
>teachers in Belgium, for example, will choose what is best for them,
>when it comes to the issues of right and left handed signing...
>I only teach the symbols themselves, and how to apply them to
>writing SignSpellings ... I am not a linguist as you know...I think
>the issue of left and right handed signing is actually a linguistic
>issue, and a social issue too, because some left handed signers are
>really upset if they cannot write the way they sign...
>SignWriting can be used in hundreds of ways, and please feel free to
>teach as you wish...
>For me personally, when it comes to writing Deaf storytelling, I
>find I need to be able to write left-handed signs too...but that is
>just me...and my neutrality does not mean you have to be neutral...
>Val ;-)
>On Dec 6, 2004, at 7:47 AM, Sandy Fleming wrote:
>>Hi Val and List!
>>>>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
>>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... <<
>>Though not a left-hander, this kind of sets alarm bells ringing for
>>While left-handedness may be virtually unnoticeable in actual
>>signing, it's
>>a different matter in classes of sign-language learners. I have no
>>experience of teaching children but this makes me wonder if a
>>Deaf child would be discriminated against quite severely if having
>>to learn
>>their first writing system from a right-handed dictionary.
>>I think that it would be a mistake to ignore the problem - what do
>>of SW to Deaf children think?
>>As for the problem of creating a dual-handedness dictionary, the
>>obvious way
>>to me, is to use the SWML variants system I proposed some time ago.
>>You may remember that I explained a straightforward modification to
>>SWML to
>>allow large numbers of variants of a sign to be expressed with very
>>SWML. The left-handed version of a sign could simply be treated as
>>a variant
>>of the right-handed version. We could write the dictionary (and if
>>word processing) software so that it can give the user the
>>left-handed form
>>of the sign if he has chosen this as a setting. Dictionary signs
>>often don't
>>have location informaton so that a lot of them wouldn't need to
>>have a
>>variatn expression - in the absence of a variant the software could
>>provide a mirror-image of the stored sign. Of course, mirroring
>>could also
>>be used with locational signs - it's logical and would reduce the
>>information required to express the variant.
>>Val, I know you prefer to think visually but I'd suggest you learn
>>to read
>>SWML - it's not that hard and would help you to understand the
>>potential of
>>the system when used with variants. I really feel that people are
>>something important here.

Niets zo eenvoudig als online shoppen !
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