Summary of writing steps for SignWriting

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Oct 7 16:56:00 UTC 2005

Stuart, you may want to look at the write up I did for the Libras dictionary project (follow the SW link there) as it included my sequence for sign spelling, and it addresses some of your concerns in the way that I set up the procedure for the sequence in my dictionary.

Valerie Sutton <sutton at> wrote:
SignWriting List
October 7, 2005

Hello Stuart, Bill and Kathleen -
This is a message that is very appropriate! I am still working on 
explaining what I call SignSpelling Guidelines, and some of this is 
exactly related to your identifying an anchor...I really like that 
term, Stuart...

And thanks to you all for your patience with me...I am still 
developing the pages for this...I am so slow these days.... But I am 
almost ready to post...and then it will be fun to discuss 
this...Meanwhile have a great day....

Val ;-)


On Oct 6, 2005, at 10:46 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:

> I was just looking for a way to describe in basic, simple terms how 
> we move from a sign we see to a sign we write. Any feedback on 
> these steps as a way to describe this process? It would be much 
> appreciated. I came up with these steps. I am not sure about the 
> timing of #6, but I just put it there for now. I wanted to think of 
> a way to help people visualize the process. This is what I catch 
> myself doing. What about you all?
> 1. Identify the sign’s “anchor.” This could be neutral space in 
> front of the body or it could be some location on the body.
> 2. If hands are involved (we should never assume always), we need 
> to identify the handshape(s) and orientation(s) and select the 
> corresponding symbol(s), placing the symbol(s) in 2D relationship 
> to the anchor.
> 3. If the hand(s) contact the body or each other, we need to select 
> the appropriate contact symbol to represent the contact.
> 4. Unless the sign is stationary or only consisting of simple 
> contact, we now look to identify the movement of the hand(s) and 
> select the appropriate movement symbol(s).
> 5. If the hand(s) change to another handshape(s) during the 
> movement, we select those handshape(s) and note their location(s).
> 6. Finally, we note any particular dynamics (fast, slow, tense, 
> etc.) and any non-manual markers that are essential to the sign.
> Thanks,
> Stuart

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