Shane's Glowing Intro

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Wed Jan 17 02:41:39 UTC 2007

Hi Stuart,
    Thanks that's a good point.  I hadn't thought about the East and
West, they would really look weird if they went in opposite directions. 
In fact it would be very confusing for the reader. I see what you are
saying about directional signing.  If I were writing about how to get to
a certain classroom in a school and mirrored the instructions, it
probably wouldn't work at all for the reader.


Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> In ASL, sometimes space can be mirrored and sometimes it is fixed. For
> example, if I am referring to North, South, East, or West, the
> direction must remain the same. I cannot simply mirror the entire
> sign. The movement must go in the proper direction. Usually, this
> means if I know where North, South, East, and West are, then I sign
> that directly. If however, I don't know where North, South, East, or
> West are located, then I sign it as if I have the map of the US in
> front of me (that's how I was taught). Other directional signing will
> also be affected. If I mean go forward and enter the room on your
> left, mirroring would put the room on the right.
> That's what I have at the moment. I will look for more examples later
> if I can find them.
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> On Jan 14, 2007, at 18:16, Jonathan wrote:
>>  Charles Butler wrote:In teaching SW I have had lefties and righties
>> in my classes, and part of the difficulty sometimes is that the
>> lefties have gotten so used to mirroring, that trying to get them to
>> write down their own hands instead of everyone else's is a challenge.
>>>   Now, in the long term, I suppose a button in sign text that could
>>> take an entire sign, and reverse the image to left hand prime
>>> production would be ideal, that is a challenge for a programmer to
>>> work on, as it requires a full understanding of the whole production
>>> of a sign and reversing everything directionally if it is a personal
>>> sign and not one pointing at an object not present (like setting up
>>> multiple people).  Doing that will require a root understanding of
>>> the grammar of an utterance, and that will be another hurdle to jump
>>> over.
>>      I am a computer programmer and am learning SignWritting.  I was
>> thinking about what you wrote about mirroring a sign.  It seems to me
>> that flipping each symbol within the SignText rectangle then moving
>> it to the horizontal distance from the left side of the rectangle
>> that equals the distance between the right most edge of the symbol
>> and the right hand side of the square, any sign should be able to be
>> mirrored.  Of course then we would also have to pass the signs from
>> the right-lane to the left-lane and vice versa.  Your comment
>> suggests that some signs might not mirror properly doing it this
>> way.  I was wondering if you could think of any concrete examples.
>>      To change from "receptive" to "expressive"  I believe that it
>> would require changing the fill for the hand after mirroring the sign.
>>  What do you think?
>>  Jonathan
>>>   I learned SW when it was "receptive" 20 years ago, writing down
>>> the other person's hands, like actually copying a videotape and
>>> writing down with the right hand of the other person on the left,
>>> and the left hand on the right.  We did that for more than 5 years
>>> until the Deaf said "expressive" sign is the better way to write as
>>> one can always write one's own hands when no one else is there.
>>>   Changing in my own head from "mirror" to "expressive" has been
>>> just as much of a challenge.
>>>   Charles Butler
>>>   Charles
>>> Pauline Roberts <capyboppy at> wrote:
>>>   Thanks for the warm welcome Val.
>>> I think I need to clarify though the difficulties I mean regarding
>>> the left
>>> handed issues. When I was learning the guitar, to move on from basic
>>> chords I needed to find a chord book that had the chord boxes. I don't
>>> know if people are familiar with these, bout they are a square box like
>>> grid, which represents the frets on the neck of the guitar, and also
>>> the
>>> six strings. You then have black or white dots representing where the
>>> fingers go. This has always been a problem as a leftie just can't
>>> look at
>>> the box and instantly know where the fingers go. Especially if a
>>> complex
>>> chord. We either have to keep going over each "dot" over and over
>>> again in
>>> our heads til it sinks in where it would be, or if it is thin paper,
>>> look
>>> through the reverse side to see. All this took time and was
>>> frustrating and
>>> confusing for the learning. I see a similar problem with Sign
>>> writing that is already written down in the normal right handed
>>> format, as again, I
>>> should imagine everything will need to be turned in reverse during the
>>> learning process. Like you say, writing it down by the leftie in a left
>>> handed format would be no problem. I do remember when learning new
>>> vocabulary at level 1 BSL, I would write down brief descriptions at the
>>> side of any words I thought I would have a problem remembering. This
>>> was
>>> fine until some of the others saw what I was doing and asked if they
>>> could
>>> borrow/photo copy my notes. When they realised the descriptions were
>>> left
>>> handed it totally confused them and most of them decided to leave
>>> it, as it
>>> would be more work having to convert everything to the opposite:-(
>>> No easy
>>> answer I suppose!
>> -- 

More information about the Sw-l mailing list