# Reflexions on wrist flexes and rotations

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Mon Jul 9 02:40:22 UTC 2007

```Hi list,
Wrist flexes and rotation have been difficult for me up to know.
However the latest discussions here on the list have helped clear a lot
of things up for me.  Though some aspects still elude me.  This is what
I have come understand and please feel free to let me know if I am wrong
or you feel that I am wrong on any of these issues.

*Rotations*
/General rules/

1. Rotations have axis-lines around which the hand rotates.   The
axis-line goes through the middle finger of the hand.  The hand
does not travel around the axis-line as would a normal movement
but rather rotates around it, the axis-line staying static in the
center of the hand.
2. There are two type of axis-lines.  The double-lined axis-line
parallel to the wall plane for a hand that is in the wall plane.
The single-lined axis-line is parallel to the floor plane for hand
symbols that are in the floor plane.
3. The rotation arrow is always perpendicular to the axis-line.  That
is always around the axis-line.
4. Rotations with an arrowhead on the axis-line can travel up or down
the axis line.  Rotations cannot travel in any other direction.
Static axis-lines do not have an arrowhead and do not travel in
any direction whatsoever.
5. The rotation arrow can either represent the curve of the thumb
movement around the axis-line or the curve of the baby finger
movement around the axis-line. /*(I don't know how to distinguish
6. A rotation ALWAYS involves a change of the palm facing if both the
beginning and ending hands where to be written.  It however NEVER
changes from one plane to the other.  Not only are the beginning
and ending axis-lines are ALWAYS parallel, they are also ALWAYS
lined up.

/What is confusing about previous explanations/

1. As Adam has mentioned, _"Right. Which is where the confusion comes
in. The definition of the rotation symbol is that the arm and hand
are on the same line. The sign for wow is not."_ the axis-line of
the hand and the axis-line of the are not always the same.  In the
previous explanations they are assumed to be the same .  This is
not the case for example if the hand is flexed 90 degrees from the
arm.  Contrary to Charles comment, though I didnĀ“t grasp the last
part of his comment, _"Then the definition is wrong.  It should
follow the ARM rotation always, that way the movement is
consistent.  The arm does not travel which the general travel
implies." _ I think that being that we are interested mainly in
the hand movement and not the arm movement, we should talk about
the axis-line in reference to the hand not the arm.
2. I have yet to understand which rotations represent the baby finger
and which represent the thumb and which should be used when. I see
there is a reference to the Push-Pull Writing Rules in the chapter
Axial Movement in the Lessons in SignWriting Textbook.  But which

*Wrist Flexes*
/General rules
/

1. The line going through the middle finger is anchored at the middle
of the wrist line (point of pivot) but describes an arc at the end
of the middle finger.
2. The line through the middle finger is not drawn on the wrist flex
symbol but rather a line cutting the wrist over which the wrist
bends.
3. Generally entails flexing the wrist.  Sometimes a rotation of the
wrist if it is already bent in regards to the arm.
4. If the wrist flex movement is in the same plane as the hand, there
is no change in palm facing if the beginning and ending hands are
written.  If the wrist flex movement changes from one plane to the
other there is change in palm facing.
5. The beginning and ending lines through the middle finger are NEVER
parallel that is never along the same line.  Both line ALWAYS have
a common point at the middle of the wrist.

/What is confusing about previous explanations/

1. What the line represents in the flex movement symbol. Before, I
could never figure out which way to flop the hand.  It seemed
logical to me at the time to try and flop the hand around the
line.  Which sometimes made the sign nonsensical.  Valerie wrote
_"In Wrist Flexes, the wrist is cut by a line, which is the axis...so
the line does not represent the forearm...it is an imaginary line
cutting the wrist...I was wrong before..."_  I believe this means
like cutting the wrist off  the line separating the hand from the
forearm.  Yes makes perfect sense for "Yes-Yes". But some signs
just don't make sense if this is the case.

For example:   If  Yes-Yes is actually

Then where the wrist line is not anywhere close to the wrist.

Should be written with all the symbols as which wouldn't be a wrist flex
at all but rather a rotation.

It seems to me that it would make more sense if it was written as    But
we don't have this a wrist flex symbol.  At least I don't think so.
This is why it is so hard to define this line.  It's mean one thing for
Yes-Yes sign but doesn't represent anything for the Wow sign except that
the symbol is a wrist flex.

*
Special cases*
When there is a rotation and a wrist flex simultaneously.
Could also be written but is much harder to read than just writing the
beginning and ending hands.

Jonathan

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