[sw-l] brother and sister

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Thu Feb 3 07:56:52 UTC 2005

Hi Val!

> So why not make your new computer program just for BSL for now? You may
> have fewer headaches! You should see the beautiful signed languages of
> the middle east and far east...some of them are enormously different
> than ASL and BSL!

Actually, I'm just writing it for ASL in the first instance. The reason for
this is that SSS-US is available. SSS-GB isn't!

Now that I've spent some time working with SSS-US I don't think it will be
too difficult to create an SSS for BSL.

Talking of which, the SSS-US has a couple of mysterious aspects of the
choice of handshape to illustrate in the document I'd like to ask about...

Firstly there's the question of the rotation field. Sometimes this is given
as rotation 01 and sometimes as rotation 03, but I don't see what's
different about the handshapes illustrated. At first I thought this must be
a mistake, but then I came to the point in programming where I had to know
whether the fingers changed position in a handshape when the fill changed,
or whether the finger positions stayed still as the fill changed. I was
amazed to find that in the SSS-US the finger positions change if the
rotation is 01 but not if it's 03. So there's a rotation property in the
SSS-US that's very useful in programming, but I don't know why - it just
seems like magaic to me! What is the rotation property and why did you
choose to show some handshapes with a different rotation from others? Very
useful, but mysterious!

The other thing is that for most handshapes you've chosen to represent them
as fill 02, but there are several which are shown as fill 01. My guess is
that the fill 01 handshapes are the numbers 1 to 10 in ASL and you've chosen
to illustrate them in the SSS-US as they would be written for numbers. My
question is, how would this translate to other SSS's? In BSL,a s you know,
numbers vary notoriously between dialects. What would I do for an SSS-GB?
Would it matter if I simply ignored this principle?

On the question of numbers, can someone tell me how telephone numbers are
signed in ASL? In BSL we simply sign one digit at a time on the right hand,
moving the hand left to right (from the expressive viewpoint) for each
digit. Is it the same in ASL? I ask because I'd like to provide a feature
for typing long numbers easily - but I need to know how these are signed in
ASL to do it.


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