Reflexions on wrist flexes and rotations

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jul 9 02:56:16 UTC 2007

Jonathan wrote:

 Should be written with all the symbols as  which wouldn't be a wrist flex at all but rather a rotation.
This isn't the end position that is trying to be shown with a flex symbol.  The hand moves down to a 45 degree angle not onto the PALM UP plan, think of shaking something off of one's hands, the hands stay facing the reader, the flex is actually from a straight angle to a 45 degree angle.  It truly does stay FACING THE READER not PALM UP.


Jonathan <duncanjonathan at> wrote: 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.

/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
      the two, could someone please help)*/
   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
      pages are they on?  Please help me on this one.

*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
   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
      the line does not represent the 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.

Looking forward to all of your comments.


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