ASL - Grace

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 27 02:04:47 UTC 2004

Hi Valerie,

Perhaps I'm not being clear, and unfortunately, this computer doesn't have SW on it to illustrate.

Stuart: It starts with the 5-hand fingertips together facing outward.

Charles: It starts with the g-hand facing outward

Stuart: Just in front of the dominant hand shoulder

Charles: Just above and to the outside of the dominant hand shoulder.

Stuart: The hand twists with the wrist toward the body.

Charles: The hand twists with the wrist down toward the body.

Stuart: And ends in an open hand 5-hand that touches in front of the shoulder.

Charles: And ends in an open 5-hand that touches the breast.

Knowing ASL and church sign language, the two signs are very much related.  Mine is the original, initialized sign, with "G" from heaven coming down to the heart, his is the normal development of a wedge hand starting slightly high on the shoulder and ending at the lower opposite shoulder as his slanted line suggests.

ASL signs have been shown to grow shorter, become uninitialized, and more centralized.
HIs question still remains.  If one has multiple handshapes, and multiple movements, which come first in the spelling of the sign

For me, looking at his sign, it would be:

1) Wedge hand facing forward.
2) In front of shoulder
3) Turning around (whether explicitly shown or not)
4) Moving across
5) Ending with final handshape and position.

Valerie Sutton <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG> wrote:
SignWriting List
February 26, 2004

Charles Butler wrote:
> I think one needs a history of the sign to understand.  Originally,
> when I was learning religious sign, it started with a "g" above one's
> head to the right, as if pulling "grace" from heaven, going down to
> one's chest.  The flip is done before the hand moves, not as part of
> the movement downward.

Hello Charles, Stuart and Everyone -
Charles...your description above is a totally different sign than what
Stuart described:


>Stuart wrote:
>It starts with a 5-hand fingertips together facing outward just in
front of the dominant side shoulder then the hand twists with the wrist
toward the body while moving toward the non-dominant shoulder and ends
up in an open 5-hand that touches the front of the shoulder. My primary
question is how to order the movement symbols when it is a more complex
movement like this?


As you can see, Stuart said that the twist happened "while moving"
that is why I thought the twist and the movement should be combined
into a combination symbol...

I have never seen the sign, nor do I have a video of it, so it is
impossible from words, to ever get a true feeling of any sign...So
writing your sign above, Charles, is very different and makes a lot
more sense to is a little like the sign for God blended with
your own heart in your "God to your heart"...that is a
beautiful sign and I would write it very differently now that I know

Please forgive my misunderstanding, Stuart...Your writing is fine. If
you would like to try writing the sign from high up over the shoulders,
you could create several different combination arrows that could be
very beautiful...

I can show you, if you would like, and then you can have fun choosing a
way to write it for yourself - ;-)

Val ;-)
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