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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Dec 7 16:08:11 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
December 7, 2004

Stephen Slevinski wrote:
> Talking pure mechanics, verticle writing centers the signs based on 
> the head.  Without lanes, the head is always centered in the middle.  
> When you add lanes, you can put the head off center to the left or 
> right.  Putting the head to the left will move the entire sign.  (The 
> hands move with the head, because the sign is centered by the head).

Stephen is correct about this. There is a difference between

1. placing a sign to the right or left of center...just your hands and 

in comparison to

2. actually shifting weight so that the head and shoulders actually 
move over to the right or left of center...To write the weight shifting 
from the torso, we use SignLanes in vertical writing...

We can write number 1 above without SignLanes.  And that can be written 
horizontally or vertically, and people can read it...

But SignLanes are something specific to vertical writing (number 2 
above). The weight of the body shifts so far right or left, that the 
head itself is no longer in the center, but the entire weight is in a 
right or left SignLane...

That is why our DAC staff members requested vertical writing years 
ago...because they were writing weight shifts...

Stephen is correct that if you sit on a chair and sign, one SignLane to 
the right and left is enough weight shifting for 99 per cent of 
signwritten documents. In some very animated storytelling, a second 
lane further out to each side does happen, but so rarely that at this 
time I think it is best to leave SignText with three lanes...center and 
right and left...that is plenty for now!

We have never had a computer program give us SignLane capability 
before, or vertical typing before either, so this is new to everyone, 
and it will take time for me to teach about weight shifts, once we have 
the software developed...

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

1. SignWritingSite
Read & Write Sign Languages

2. SignBankSite
Sign Language Dictionaries
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