When writing a document in SW...

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Aug 22 01:36:13 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
August 21, 2006

Hi James -

  James Shepard-Kegl, Esq. wrote:
> "Lanes", eh?  As in "topic markers" and "role shifting", I reckon.

No. Lanes is a SignWriting term for writing Spatial Comparisons (or  
whatever other name it might be called), but that is actually not  
role shifting...it is comparing one thing on the left with the other  
thing on the right...but you are not changing roles...just comparing  
one item with another...and when people do these comparisons in Sign  
Language, they shift their weight a little to one side of  
center...their whole upper body shifts a little to the left or  
right..not necessarily twisting, but just upper-body-shifting...this  
cannot be written properly in either SignWriter DOS or SignWriter  
Java because writing from left to right, horizontally, weight- 
shifting is not easy to write or read...just placing the hands on the  
left or right of the shoulders is not enough to show the shifting of  
weight...Vertical lanes provide this weight shifting information and  
are easy to read...I explained it to Judy when she was here earlier...

You can read about Lanes in this Grammar document below:

Writing in Lanes

> There is a symbol for that, or at least, a symbol that I use for  
> that (arrow
> showing twist of the torso to the left or right, as applicable), as  
> role
> shifting is critical and must be conveyed.  In this way, I can  
> write left to
> right, although this would work vertically just as well.

That arrow is for a twisting torso, but it does not show the whole  
upper body adjusting itself to the left or right of center. A  
twisting arrow does show the torso twisting to one side or the other,  
but not shifting its weight to one side or the other...So technically  
you could have a twisting of the torso, but still have the whole body  
over in the left lane or right lane...so those are two different  

> Snag it works with SignWriter Java, which gives me the white  
> background.

Great. I am so glad you have tools that work for you!

Did Judy show you SignText with Lanes?

Val ;-)

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