left, right and both arrows

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Mar 9 14:59:56 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
March 9, 2006

On Mar 9, 2006, at 5:54 AM, Gallant, Philippe wrote:
> I did use attachment to add two diagrams and apparently it is not
> working.  Here I am again...  If not working, you can look it up at
> depression and depression_2.
>> From your previous instructions I understand but for this, can we do
> like depression_2?  Since we can use two hands move together but  
> use one
> 'both' arrow with out touch two hands together.  I noticed many signs
> that has two hands moving together at the same time without touch each
> other can use one 'both' arrow instead two arrows for left and right
> hands.

Hello Philippe and everyone!
Your attachments worked this time...many thanks! And now I have  
attached those two signs plus a third that I just entered too...

I understand your question, Philippe, because this question has come  
up before...here is the summary...

1. SAME MOVEMENT PATH (one path is on top of the other path)
The General Arrowhead was developed when we tried to write a white  
and dark arrow on top of each other...because the two movement paths  
happened in the SAME path...so the General arrow was designed to mean  
the SAME movement path...and as you know, the sign for DEPRESSION in  
ASL does not have movement on the SAME path...they are painting two  
paths, right and left, far apart from each other...so following the  
rule at the moment, the sign for DEPRESSION would have to have two  
arrows...one for right path and one for left path...

2. PARALLEL MOVEMENT PATHS (going in same direction, but the two  
paths are not on top of each other)
You, and others before you, have suggested that instead of meaning  
the SAME path, the general arrow could mean BOTH hands moving in  
PARALLEL paths...and there are other groups, such as the Danish  
researchers using SignWriting, who have done that officially for  
writing Danish Sign Language in SignWriting...other countries have  
not chosen to do this...so this is one area where I need to get some  
new rules specific to this issue...

So now...what to do? I have to ask others about a new rule stating  
that the General Arrow could mean PARALLEL PATHS...it is not simple  
because thousands of people use SignWriting now and I am trying to  
keep the system used the same all over the world as best as is  

Keep writing and whichever you choose, just be aware that at the  
moment number 2 above is not considered correct within the current  
rules...smile...I don't know what else to say!  I will inform you  
when I get some feedback from others...it would change a lot of books  
on SignWriting! smile...

Thanks very much, Philippe, for your suggestion...I appreciate it  
that you asked and that we can discuss this in the future too...   
Val ;-)

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