Ethiopian Handshapes in the IMWA

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed Aug 16 12:31:02 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
August 16, 2006

Hello Eyasu!
Wonderful to hear from you. was very confusing in July,  
because our SignWriting List software...the software that sends  
messages to the List...was not working well. So many messages piled  
up and the software could not send them to the List. Then, the  
software got fixed, and then suddenly we received old messages in our  
email boxes from one month ago!

That is also why I did not post the new handshapes for Ethiopia yet,  
because the List software was not working...Although I am working on  
another job right now, for a Norwegian anthropology study, I do have  
some of the Ethiopian symbols finished and I am still working on the  

I know this must seem so slow...but they are coming...hopefully by  
the end of August...

Many blessings to Ethiopia!

Val ;-)

On Aug 16, 2006, at 3:42 AM, eyasu tamene wrote:

> Dearest Val and Stefan and members
> I pass my greetings from the bottom of my heart.
> I was surprised how the July 14 message could be available in my  
> mail box on August 14 as long as I chech my email every day,  
> smile.  Because of this I waited to say something on Stefan's  
> proposal.
> I have seen the very impressive graphic pictures of  EMA 1, EMA 2,  
> EMA3.  I completely agree that they are correct.  My deaf  
> colleagues also wouldn't have different opinion.  In fact there are  
> some complications in other handshapes. We shall see them sooner as  
> long as the blessed works of Val are available.
> Regards,
> Eyasu
> Stefan Wöhrmann <stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE> wrote:
> Hi Valerie, Eyasu and friends of EMA
> I agree and I can understand that it is an immense task to create  
> all the
> sets of 96 symbols for one single handshape -
> Let me suggest the following procedure. I can immagine the the  
> Ethiopian
> experts are the only people to tell us what they really see, sign,  
> feel -
> smile - while performing their fingerspelling
> Perhaps you can suggest a first idea on how you would write a given
> handshape - and some of them look so complicated -
> If our team would discuss this spelling you will know that you  
> don#t waste
> any precious time with creating new symbols if in the end the  
> experts focus
> on a detail that has not been obvious to us -
> (I know what I am talking about because it took us so many back and  
> forth
> emails to clarify what we should agree upon - while I tried to take  
> the same
> fotos - ha it has not been easy at all !!!)
> Attached you find a first graphic with my best guess how to write the
> handshapes in SW.
> This proposed procedure is just an idea - it has not to happen if  
> you prefer
> a different strategy.
> Stefan ;-)
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: owner-sw-l at
> [mailto:owner-sw-l at] Im Auftrag von Valerie  
> Sutton
> Gesendet: Mittwoch, 12. Juli 2006 17:38
> An: sw-l at
> Betreff: Re: [sw-l] Ethiopian Handshapes in the IMWA
> SignWriting List
> July 12, 2006
> Page 1 of the Ethiopian Manual Alphabet
> document shows us three handshapes. The
> first one is already in the IMWA. But
> the second and third handshapes need to
> be a Circle Base (an Open Fist), rather
> than the square base, which is a Tight
> Fist....
> When we write by hand it is so fast to
> write the difference between a square
> and a circle...but in computers, each
> one is a separate symbol that needs all
> 96 flops and rotations...
> So today I will add the second and third
> handshapes to the IMWA.
> How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger’s low PC-to-Phone  
> call rates.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list