Stylistics - Handshapes - handwriting

Kimberley A. Shaw kshaw at WELLESLEY.EDU
Wed Aug 10 17:48:23 UTC 2005

Hello all:
This is an exciting thread; I think that the demands of fluid handwriting
will be pushing SW in whole new directions the more people know about and
use it!
I have just recently returned from 2 weeks of ASL immersion at Gallaudet
University, and have kept a SignWrittten journal while there -- only
instead of using regular pens/pencils, I think that the Asian calligraphy
brush lends itself *very* nicely to SignWriting! Why? It is much easier to
make a very large range of thick/thin lines, even better than with a
fountain pen, and I have even been able to easily make those filled-in
right-hand arrows with only one pass, without needing to go back and color
in a previously-outlined arrow. A jpeg sample of my SW with a Sakura Pigma
"Sumi brush" is attached to this e-mail; it is a very easy-to-use sortof
-like-a-felt-tip pen. Next, I plan to learn how to do the whole
inkstone/plain-brush thing ...
Will be catching up on 2 weeks of SW-list-forum later! Gally was
excellent. Very nice to take a break from having to use my ears, and I
enjoyed getting more fluent with ASL.
Kim from Boston

PS - PLEASE ignore the SW mistakes! Ugh. My name's Kimberley, not
Kimberlsy ... you may find other "oops". KAS

sw-l at on Friday, August 05, 2005 at 5:31 AM -0500
>Hi List!
>You may remember discussions in the past where quite a few people wanted 
>some sort of SignWriting modified for handwriting easier handwriting - 
>or so that the system can be written cursively instead of having to 
>"draw" the signs a bit like you might copy the style of  printed 
>material by "drawing" it instead of writing it.
>Some suggestions for handwriting seem to be based on the shorthand 
>system or by losing some of the information in other ways. This isn't 
>the way it's done in oral language writing, where instead of imitating 
>printed matter, letters are written quite differently to suit the pen 
>and the human hand. In the Roman alphabet there are even two different 
>handwriting systems - cursive and carolignian - which are designed to 
>suit different kinds of pens and sensibilities.
>So instead of resorting to shorthand or data loss, I've gradually, 
>through usage, figured out some cursive ways of writing SW. See the 
>attachment for how I write various kinds of handshapes and how I do 
>shading. It shows a sample of handshapes, but I have no trouble writing 
>any BSL handshape using similar principles.
>There are a few guidleines for writing handshapes cursively:
>1. If the index finger is to be written, start writing at the tip of the 
>index finger.
>2. For spread hands, start writing at the tip of the baby finger and end 
>the first stroke at the tip of the thumb.
>Shading is done using a multiplication cross - it's like, instead of the 
>black and white gloves you have gloves with a cross on the back. I tried 
>a lot of different shapes for the hand shading but this is the only one 
>I've found that works well for all orientations.
>Any thoughts, opinions or further ideas?

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