Reflexions on wrist flexes and rotations

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Wed Jul 11 14:00:29 UTC 2007

Hi Charles,
    I know that WOW doesn't end PALM UP.  What I meant was suggestion a 
different place to put the line in the flex movement symbol.  I had 
always been difficult for me to read because the line isn't beside the 
wrist as I would've expect it to be.  But the "Wrist Movement Symbols" 
diagrams that Valerie posted has made it clearer. 
    Thanks for your comment

Charles Butler wrote:
> 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.
> Charles
> */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.
>     *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
>     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
>     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
>     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.
>     Jonathan
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