Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed Nov 19 18:31:13 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
November 19, 2008

> On Nov 19, 2008, at 9:58 AM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> I am confused as to what you mean by the handshapes are not  
> necessarily right or left?
> Stuart


Hi Stuart -
Adam just explained this soooo beautifully....did you see Adam's last  
2 messages?

But this is an interesting topic for your research perhaps...let me  
try to explain...

It has to do with the 96 rotations and flops of handshapes on the  
symbol palettes, in the ISWA.

People look at the palette of symbols...all the 96 flops and  
rotations...(see partial diagram below) and understandably they assume  
that the top 48 rotations and palm facings on the symbol palette are  
the right hand, and the bottom half of the palette of 96 is the left  

But this is not true.

The top 48 are counterclockwise rotations, and although they are most  
of the time used for right-hands, there are exceptions.

The bottom 48 are clockwise rotations. The bottom 48 are the "flop" of  
the top 48.

That is all they are...and there are exceptions, where the right hand  
might need a symbol from the lower 48, and sometimes the left hand  
might need one from the upper 48...because of the visual nature of the  
writing the sign for HAMBURGER that needs the fingers  
pointing up, for visual might not be on the top part of  
the grid of 96...I think Andre was boxing himself into a corner,  
because he didn't realize he could choose from the whole find  
the handshape that really looked the closest to real life...

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