[sw-l] New Handshapes for the IMWA

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Nov 22 14:33:20 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
November 22, 2004

On Nov 22, 2004, at 4:51 AM, Charles Butler wrote:
> I'm curious in this new shape, what happened to the little finger?  In 
> all other IMWA shapes, if all the fingers are visible and form a part 
> of the shape, they are indicated by lines.  The little finger is not 
> folded into the hand in the photograph.  Where did it go?

Handshapes are created by finding the lowest finger in the shape, and 
using that lowest finger as the base of the shape.

No handshape that has a square for a base can have all five fingers 
showing, since the very definition of the square is that at least one 
finger is down and touching the palm of the hand...so the fifth finger, 
the baby finger in this case, is the lowest finger, and with a square 
base it means that the baby finger is touching the base of the hand 
creating the square.

In the photo, the baby finger does not touch the palm of the hand. So 
technically, that would be a circle-base, since the definition of a 
circle-base is the lowest finger is bent down quite a bit, but does not 
touch the palm of the hand...So that circle-base symbol would be 
another handshape added to the IMWA...which is another 96 symbols 
because of all the flops and rotations...so I was hoping that Sandy 
would accept a handshape that is already in the IMWA with the square 
base...and it would be "close enough"...

So the base of the hand is determined by the shape of the lowest 
finger...If the lowest finger is straight forward, then the base of the 
symbol is an Angle or Hinge...

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