differences in fist tensions from signer to signer

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun May 6 21:34:46 UTC 2007

Yes...that was my feeling too, but then Kelly Jo mentioned that we  
were not writing all the details, so it was just a question...and  
then the other problem is too much detail when it comes to Danish  
Sign Language fists...so it is hard to find a balance between  
phonetic and phonemic...that is why I asked...

And i got the feeling that you are happy with the amount of  
handshapes we have and that maybe these new handshapes are not  
needed? See attached...

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On May 6, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Adam Frost wrote:

> I don't really see a reason to complicate the symbols more that is  
> needed right now. Maybe later if(!) they are really needed, they  
> can be added. However, I think that it would only be for detailed  
> writing like research and IPA-like writing.
> Adam
> On 5/6/07, Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com> wrote: SignWriting  
> List
> May 6, 2007
> Hello Everyone!
> And I hope Ingvild will help me explain this from the Norwegian Sign
> Language perspective...
> The detail of writing the differences in fist tensions from signer to
> signer...
> In Denmark, and some other signed languages too, they do not seem to
> differentiate between a Tight Fist or an Open Fist (Circle base for O
> hand in ASL)...
> In other words, in ASL there is a linguistic meaning difference
> between a tight fist with the Index finger up, and a D-hand...see  
> below
> But my memory is, that in Danish Sign Language, they do not care
> whether it is tight or open...it all is the same to them...
> How do we handle this issue? Which symbol should be used when writing
> Danish Sign Language, if they don't differentiate?
> I bring this up also because Kelly Jo mentioned earlier that there
> are details of fist relaxation if we were to write a native ASL
> signer in their exact way of signing...which means we do not have
> enough symbols to cover all the possible variations of relaxed fists
> in the current symbolset...so that is the other extreme...that would
> me we would have to include more symbols to show every variation of
> relaxation...which would then give the Danish signers a choice
> somewhere in the middle between the square and the circle...these
> detailed fist relaxation symbols can be placed in the ISWA, but it
> would cause a lot more symbols to be added to the symbolset...
> So I was going to propose that we keep what we have, and just decide
> on a choice of one or the other to mean a different thing, for the
> Danish signers...for example, they could use the basic square base,
> and define it as not a Tight Fist, but the basic fist that is natural
> to their language...
> just like the letter A is pronounced differently in other
> countries...we still write A the same and define its pronunciation
> differently from country to country...that would cut back on the
> number of symbols needed...
> These are the issues of standardization versus a phonetic writing
> system...both are needed of course...
> Interesting topic!
> What are all your thoughts?
> Val ;-)

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