ASL Numbers and Palm Facing ;-)

CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US
Wed May 2 19:39:29 UTC 2007

This is the way I was taught...  in double digit numbers containing two of 
6, 7, 8, and 9, the wrist twists from high to low or low to high.  The 
number 67 for example will twist from a 6(fingertips aiming to the right-- 
low) to the 7(fingertips pointing up--  high) 68 and 69 will twist the 
same way.  76 will twist from fingertips up to fingertips side (high to 
low-- 7 is high, 6 is low).  78 and 79 will twist from low to high- 8 and 
9 being high, 7 being low.  If the high digit is first, the hand twists 
from fingertips up to fingertips side.  If the low digit is first, the 
twist is from side to up.  Confusing, huh...

Cherie Wren
GSD Staff Interpreter
232 Perry Farm Rd
Cave Spring, GA 30124
706-766-0766 Cell

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"Valerie Sutton" <signwriting at MAC.COM> 
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[sw-l] ASL Numbers and Palm Facing ;-)

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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