Symbol consistancy?

Adam Frost icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 24 01:31:25 UTC 2006

At first look they do look like they should be the other way. But after a closer look, it really is right. I don't know how to go in depth about it right now except that when the finger curve/angle/etc and they are not the active finger(s), they are drawn toward the "center." I don't know if that helps, but if you just look at you hand as you go through the rotation you should be able to see it is correct. 
For what it's worth

-----Original Message-----
From: "Charles Butler" <chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 14:59:25 
To:sw-l at
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Symbol consistancy?

I guess I am confused.  I was under the impression that in building, for example, a Sign Symbol Sequence you'd be picking an exact handshape and palm facing with only one possible code per handshape/palm facing, not a mirror image of a possible shape.  If one sorts by handshape, how can one be certain one is getting the handshape AND rotation one has requested if the system doesn't contain the coding for a particular handshape, hand (right or left) and rotation.   I guess that it is the encoding system for the computer program that I'm curious about.  If it is built by a drawing system, then conceivably you'd only need one handshape per handshape, the rest would be flips, mirrors, mathematical rotations, and fill ins.    Charles Butler 

Valerie Sutton <signwriting at MAC.COM> wrote: SignWriting ListAugust 23, 2006
On Aug 22, 2006, at 9:41 PM, Adam Frost wrote:> I think I was a little vague with words because I am talking about > the next level of order. Since I am now at a desktop computer, I > can sceen copy what I meant. This screen shot from SignText first > shows the set of symbols that I was refering to, and the second is > the base symbol that I was compareing. Notice that the third and > sixth columns are ordered differently.
Hello Adam and Everyone -No, it is not is simply a choice. Did you know that there are actually 10 palm facings? But we only have 6 in the if we had every palm facing in the IMWA the grid would be 10 grid-squares across rather than 6, and you would see that the one you are talking about would be there...We already have around 30,000 symbols in the IMWA and if we were to extend that to 10 palm facings, it would be so huge that computer programmers would have a lot of trouble storing all the symbols I had to choose which of the 10 palm facings are used more...and I made a decision..but when you write by hand, you can write everything you need, plus you can still find the symbol you need in the 6 palm facings...and simply flop it to get what you want...Stefan and I talked about these 10 palm facings for about 6 months a few years ago, on the List, and it was never solved because we cannot add 10 palm facings to the would hurt our soft!
 ware development too much and create other inconsistencies that are just horrible...
So there are two groups of hands in the way they work in the IMWA...there are the square-based handshapes that have the finger on the side that you are talking about, and then there are the Angle- based and C-based handshapes...and the Angles and C shapes have what you are calling an inconsistency...but it is simply a choice on my part as to which was the worse problem...Take a look at the plain C handshape attached...all I did was add an index finger to the shape. But you can flop it if you wish to get the other 10 palm facings...
Writing by hand was wonderful! I am not able to change thousands of symbols now, Adam, no matter how much the inconsistency may bother you, because if I changed it, it would change thousands of other symbols in the IMWA and then I would be overwhelmed and unable to do anything...
So that is the way it is...
But it is good you noticed this..It shows you are using SignWriting in depth! Everyone notices this issue of lacking some of the 10 palm facings sooner or later!!
Val ;-)


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