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Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Sun Feb 8 23:24:35 UTC 2004

Hi Val and everyone!

> Meanwhile, I know that we have a BSL keyboard for fingerspelling in
> SignWriter DOS, but I am not sure it is good...Please see attached
> diagram...so if you have other ways to write BSL fingerspelling in
> SignWriting I am happy for your suggestions, Sandy...you are our
> resident BSL signer on the List...smile...

I've always thought the SW on the BSL fingerspelling keyboard is good, but
the devil is in the vowels!

The thing is that not only does the right hand index finger touch the tip of
a left hand thumb/finger to indicate each vowel, but the left hand finger
touched has to bend forward at the knuckle, as if reaching out to _be_
touched. So we need five different handshapes for the left hand, one for
each of the vowels. If I can find them all in the system then I'll post

I think the "stylised" vowels on the keyboard - with just a contact marker
at each finger and the rest just implied - are interesting because I think
in the future some very common features of languages will have stylised
representations like this, as people get used to using the system and start
to drop the more complicated strokes in things they have to write a lot. I
think people will just automatically realise that some things don't need to
be "spelled out".

Does anyone agree? Or is this already happening for some signs in some


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