AW: [sw-l] Namibia handshape construction
sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Jun 2 13:03:56 UTC 2009
June 2, 2009
Hello Ingvild and everyone -
Thanks for all your comments, and thanks to Stefan and Charles and
I think everyone should write exactly as they wish...this issue of
whether the fingers go one direction or the other, will probably
always be with us...because it is a matter of perspective and people
do think and see things differently.
And you would be surprised, if you look at hundreds of documents
around the world in SignWriting, how many people mix the flopping in
each one of their own documents. Sometimes it feels good to flop the
symbol one way, and sometimes it feels good to flop it the other way,
and people's writings are not consistent, even within one document...
and they don't realize it either, so I suspect we must be flexible and
we should all write the way it feels good for us...
Fortunately, all the symbols flopped both directions are available in
SignPuddle, so you have all the symbols you need to write your way,
when writing your sign languages...
So do what feels intuitive for you and your languages...choose
whatever direction feels right for you...
It will be interesting later to create a research project on this
subject, studying not only individual teachings of these symbols, but
studying how many times people point the fingers towards their mouths
in documents, or away from their mouths etc...to see how many times
the flopped positions are used...within written sign language
literature. It is like the letter M in ASL...when hearing people go to
school to learn fingerspelling, oftentimes they are taught a tight M
with the fingers in a fist, but when Deaf people are signing quickly
to each other, they do not do that M...they have straight fingers, and
yet the other fist version is still taught in classrooms, because it
is the formal symbol. So when we write documents, people are not
writing the formal teaching, but are instead writing more intuitively,
and that is how the real writing system evolves...how literature is
written is the real key to this issue...not the formal teaching of
Meanwhile, all of us are writing textbooks documenting the way we
write, so that future generations have something to learn and study
and discuss...it will keep the writing system a living breathing
system and that is good...
Talking about that, Ingvild, I was wondering if your Norwegian
textbook on SignWriting should be sold on Amazon.com? and in other
arenas on the internet?...would you like me to arrange that for you?
And Stefan, would you like to have your SignWriting Handbook on
Amazon.com? Right now, if you go to Amazon.com and search for
SignWriting, you will find that the Parkhurst's books from Spain are
there, and so are two books of my titles, but I would be more than
happy to also go through the paperwork of getting your books on
Amazon.com too...the reason this is important is that it gets the
books out into the real world more, and even though a sale will be
very rare, it is still a book that is easier to find by placing it out
on the open market...and of course I would send any sales money
directly to you through PayPal...it would help spread SignWriting in
general....and of course your Norwegian book, Ingvild, will still
always be available for download for free on our site...thank you for
Norwegian textbook on SignWriting by Ingvild Roald
And back to writing symbols the way you want in SignPuddle...around 90
per cent of the time you will be able to construct new handshapes
using the ISWA symbols, but the tiny hook that Stefan designed would
be hard to write using the little lines in the iSWA...I hope it will
be possible...I would like to hope that the ISWA symbols are enough to
be able to write literature...
Have a great day everyone!
On Jun 2, 2009, at 2:13 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:
> Symbols used for everyday writing may be intuitive (as most of the
> SignWriting symbols are) or non-intuitive, like the conventions on
> arrowheads etc. But they should not be counter-intuitive. Maybe
> Stefan and I both think as educators, more than as system builders.
> I find it counter-intuitive that both of the attached handshape
> symbols refer to the right hand - my feeling is that as the hand
> flippes, so should the parts of the symbols that represent the
> fingers. (I know that this is not the same handshape that Stefan
> wrote about, but it is in the same group of handshapes)....
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