ASL Numbers and Palm Facing ;-)

Adam Frost icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 2 22:24:27 UTC 2007

Thank you for reminding me. :-) I was going to respond to Val's earlier email. It is not 60-99 like Val had said, but only non-repeating double digits of 6-9. If the first digit is less than the second, the rotate is in. But the rotate is out if the digit is greater than the second. So like Cheire was saying, 67 68 69 78 79 and 89 rotate in, and 76 86 87 96 97 98 rotate out. Repeating double digits have a different rule, so that is why 66 77 88 and 99 are not included. I will have to get to a computer to write them, or make sure that they are right in SignPuddle (for ease). :-)



-----Original Message-----
From: CWren at
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 15:39:29 
To:sw-l at
Subject: Re: [sw-l] ASL Numbers and Palm Facing ;-)

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
 This message and any included attachments are from the Georgia School for the Deaf and are intended only for the addressee(s). The information contained herein may include privileged or otherwise confidential information. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender immediately, and delete it from your system. 
 "Valerie Sutton" <signwriting at MAC.COM> 
Sent by: owner-sw-l at 
05/02/2007 02:26 PM 
Please respond to
 sw-l at 
To sw-l at 
Subject [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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