[sw-l] am I correct in understanding the IMWA

Ingvild Roald ingvild.roald at STATPED.NO
Wed Nov 24 13:38:16 UTC 2004

Hi Val and all,

I've been trying to see if I understands the rules of the system
correctly. The handshape symbols themselves I get. Then, for each
handshape there is a 'grid' with orientations/ shadings/ variations.

For each handshape, as I understand it, the uppermost symbol to the left
is the right hand, palm in, 'finger-bones in palm' up (have to express it
that way, as the fingers themselves may be bent or curved, and point
another way). Then downwards, the right hand turns counter-clock wise,
until halfway down the 'grid' the left hand gets its place and turns

If I follow the 'grid' from left to right, I get first palm in, then palm
to the (natural) side, then palm out, and the the bird's view of the palm
up, palm side and palm down.

I have attached a Word document with a table to show this.

If I am right about this, the handshapes where the fingers are straight
from the palm are easy. But I get problems understanding the system when
the fingers are curved. For instance, in the sign for 'Switzerland' in the
SignPudle, how is the hand held?

Sorry to beother you, but as I may have misunderstood the system, and as
others may have trouble, I felt I ought to ask.

Take care,


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