differences in fist tensions from signer to signer

Adam Frost adam at FROSTVILLAGE.COM
Tue May 8 05:50:14 UTC 2007

I agree, but you have to be careful to not dismiss something as an informal
variation of a sign that is really just a "signonym". This (and the whole
production variation and production meaning issue) is a lot of the reason
that standardization will be very hard to come by. (In fact, English gets
argued that it should be "better standardized" as well. So I doubt that
hundreds of years will even be the answer to it. HA!)


On 5/7/07, K.J. Boal <kjoanne403 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Agreed... I believe the "phonemic" symbol is already in the IMWA... the
> main
> question is, should it be considered a fist base, a D base, a baby-D base,
> or a closed-D base?  I think the answer is the most formal sign.  The more
> carefully you sign it, the closer it gets to what you think you're signing
> (same for speech).  So, which base does the formal sign use?  My guess is,
> the D hand.
> KJ
> >From: "Adam Frost" <adam at frostvillage.com>
> >Reply-To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >Subject: Re: [sw-l] differences in fist tensions from signer to signer
> >Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 14:26:15 -0700
> >
> >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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