ASL Numbers and Palm Facing ;-)

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed May 2 18:26:35 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
May 2, 2007

On May 2, 2007, at 10:54 AM, Charles Butler wrote:
> Valerie, this is great, it really did clarify this discussion in a  
> major way.  When fingerspelling turns to signatures, it really  
> changes orientation.
> It was like your discovery of the "autonomic" change that happens  
> with signs like "1989" where without looking at a video a person  
> "thinks" that they sign all the numbers upright, when the 8 tends  
> to flip over because of rhythm.
> 1989
> nineteen eighty nine


Thank you, Charles!

Fingerspelling and signatures are a fascinating topic and I am sure  
we will continue to explore it as SignWriting spellings start to  

You are right that yesterday clarified a lot, for me too.

and thanks for mentioning the 1989...I have changed  
the name of this thread to ASL Numbers and Palm Facing because you  
bring up an important point...

Adam was teaching me, last time he visited me, about the numbers in  

Way back in the early 1990's there were three native signers who  
wrote our ASL dictionary (Butch Zein, Bonita Ewan and Kathy Say) that  
was in the SignWriter DOS program all these know the 3000  
sign dictionary we had...

Anyway...they wrote those numbers correctly so I cannot take credit  
for their writing...because they know their language obviously...

But recently I had to create a dictionary for SignBank, and because I  
am not fluent in ASL, I started to wonder if maybe the same kind of  
twisting in the number 89, might also exist in other numbers like 45,  
or 27...

But Adam taught me that those twists in palm facing only occur with  
numbers 60s through 90s...

Is that correct, Adam?...feel free to correct me....have I understood  
this correctly?

Anyway, I think I may have entered some numbers incorrectly in the  
SignPuddle dictionary online and I have been meaning to go over the  
numbers with everyone...

Would you all enjoy reviewing the numbers with me as we correct the  
online dictionary?

And thank you, Adam, for helping me understand ASL better!

We all make a good team...

Val ;-)

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