Handshape question, "Stand" and "Look"

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Nov 30 18:23:05 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
November 30, 2008

Thanks for the great message below ;-))

I am sorry about the web pages...I am working on the web pages right  

Adam did some very cool animation of the handshapes and I have been  
behind in getting them on the web...I will write shortly with the new  
web pages...with some examples of signs that use the symbols plus a  
better way to navigate from page to page...

This shows you how much your animated GIFs are needed, Adam - thank  
you for creating them!

Val ;-)


On Nov 30, 2008, at 10:13 AM, Adam Frost wrote:

> After some searching, I found the webpage with the GIF that I  
> created. It isn't preatty yet because there is still some working  
> being done, but it is here none the less.
> http://www.signwriting.org/lessons/iswa/group02/01-02-004-01.html
> Adam
> On Nov 30, 2008, at 9:58 AM, Adam Frost wrote:
>> I love this question, and I will tell you why. It shows that you  
>> have a handle on these handshapes, and you are thinking in real  
>> world sense.
>> As a Lexiconian in the truest sense (I'd love to make an ASL  
>> equivalent to the Webster Dictionary, but that would be a life  
>> work. *wink*), I have made the same observations that you have just  
>> made. I have also noticed that it is rare for native users to  
>> realize that they have their hands the way that you have just  
>> described. This is the reason that the ASL Puddle, which is a  
>> collaborative dictionary, usually has the first set. The other  
>> reason is that most people can read the first set easier than the  
>> latter. ;-) The reason I mention this is if and when I were able to  
>> create and ASL Webster-like dictionary, then there would be  
>> something about this in the usage or pronunciation guide.
>> I know that I am not teaching your class, so I don't know the  
>> students. But if I were teaching a class that I felt could handle  
>> it, I would include both in the lessons and tell them that the  
>> first set is more of a novice way of signing as well as the visual  
>> image of how a native internally imagines their signing but are  
>> actually doing it the second way. The reason is in order to do the  
>> first set the elbow has to be in an awkward position or the wrist  
>> has to be painfully bent, whereas the latter set does not.
>> So now that I have rambled, I will answer your questions. :-) If  
>> you want to have those concepts in the ASL Puddle, you are more  
>> than welcome to add them. In fact, I think it is better to have  
>> both of them so that people can compare. As for your second  
>> question, I have been creating GIFs of all of the current  
>> handshapes. Because of everyone being swamped with so many  
>> projects, it is coming along very slowly. I have done these  
>> handshapes that you have mentioned, but I don't know if they have  
>> been put up on the website yet. I am not sure exactly why you are  
>> asking because you do understand it just fine. I am also surprised  
>> that there isn't anything about the latter set of handshapes on the  
>> website. I just find that odd. So I will check to see if my GIFs  
>> are on the website or not. If not, maybe I can figure something out.
>> Hope this helps, and I am glad that Val caught this in Digest  
>> because I never saw it. As always feel free to ask questions. It is  
>> the way to learn. ;-)
>> Adam
>> On Nov 30, 2008, at 9:03 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
>>> From: "Natasha Escalada-Westland" <shash90 at hotmail.com>
>>> Date: November 30, 2008 7:33:52 AM PST
>>> To: "SignWriting Listserve" <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
>>> Subject: [sw-l] Handshape question, "Stand" and "Look"
>>> Reply-To: "SignWriting List" <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
>>> Greetings SW colleagues,
>>> I am developing a lesson on teaching classifers and I am debating  
>>> which handshapes to use in my presentation.  The ASL signpuddle  
>>> dictionary cites:
>>> <symbol.php>   and   <symbol.php>   as the handshapes for "stand"  
>>> and "look-at" respectively.
>>> As I look at myself signing these, and as I think of using them as  
>>> classifiers to describe types or ways of standing or looking-at, I  
>>> see the following actual handshapes used:
>>> <symbol.php>  and  <symbol.php>
>>> The "Lessons in SignWriting Web Gallery" explanation of Handshape  
>>> group 2 doesn't include the above handsapes, although I do  
>>> understand them to mean index and middle fingers bent slightly at  
>>> the proximal knuckle.
>>> First question...  Do the signs in the ASL SignPuddle need to be  
>>> updated as written for these concepts?  To keep the fingers  
>>> straight requires unnatural lifting of the shoulder and elbow.
>>> Second question... is there an updated lesson book or handshape  
>>> list that includes the second set of handshapes somwhere on the  
>>> SignWriting website?
>>> Thank you!
>>> Natasha Escalada-Westland, M.Ed. (D/HH), Macromedia Cert.
>>> www.westlandasl.com
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