AW: AW: [sw-l] Namibia handshape construction

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Jun 2 18:10:42 UTC 2009

SignWriting List
June 2, 2009

You are very welcome, Stefan!

And congratulations and thank you to you too, for all your hard work  
in SignPuddle!! You have soooo many documents and dictionary entries!  
It is very impressive!

And when you are using SignPuddle everyday, it is because of Steve  
Slevinski's fabulous software development, and also my hard work  
too...all the symbols that you are using in SignPuddle  
everyday...those symbols...are there because Steve Slevinski asked me  
to finalize the symbolset for the next few years so that we could have  
some stable software...and I really worked long hours on the  
symbolset, called the ISWA 2008...and then Steve did a huge job to  
install those symbols into for at least for the next  
few years, the software can grow and become used all over the internet  
in a stable way...

Meanwhile we all know that there will always be a need for new  
symbols, new textbooks, new ways of looking at writing...but without  
Steve's amazing use of the current ISWA 2008 we would have nothing to  
write with on the internet...and it is the internet connection that is  
making all this collaboration for us possible...

The symbols of SignWriter DOS were wonderful too...I worked hard on  
that symbolset too...but computers were different then, and we could  
not communicate on the internet with SignWriter DOS like we can with the symbolset grew more sophisticated and we have a  
huge amount of choices in the ISWA 2008...every flop and mirror are  
there for you to experiment with and enjoy....

How we teach those choices, and what our choices are, may vary of  

Regarding the teaching of the symbols, if I were writing your  
handshape for Namibia from the Flat Hand as a base, instead of from  
the Angle Base, then the thumb would be where you want it to  
that is another idea entirely and someday we can talk about  
that...Angle Hands and Flat Hands have two different thumb  
issues...and it makes me smile, because the fact that our detailed  
discussions are centering around that is our only  
problem then I think as a writing system we are doing fine!

We can call it "Thumb-Writing Conventions" - ha!  A future venue of  
discussion...and enjoy every minute of the analysis is  
so nice to have people to talk to with like interests ;-)

Right now, Adam and I need to finish just documenting the current ISWA  
2008 symbols...

2012 is too far away right now ...we still need to document 2008 ;-))

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Val ;-)


On Jun 2, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

> Hello Ingvild, Charles, Adam, Steve, Valerie and Everyone...
> What a great discussion! I want to thank all of you for sharing your  
> ideas
> and opinion.
> There would not be such a discussion if we would not be interested  
> so much
> to work with this ingenious writing system in an optimal way.
> I am optimistic that this kind of exchange will allow us to improve  
> our
> understanding of what we are doing.
> I am working with SignWriting documents every day. Deaf students  
> have to
> read, discuss and translate SignWriting documents every day. The  
> German
> SignPuddle is on the way to become a central important databank for  
> lots and
> lots of signs of German Sign Language. Where else should people look  
> for
> since at one central source? And the good point this databank is  
> growing
> almost every day and it is flexible - we can discuss signs, change the
> spelling... wow Steve - what a wonderful achievement!
> This ongoing discussion about handshapes and flips and mirrors and
> perspective and spelling rules and missing handshapes, minor or major
> differences between two variations ... it is a never ending story.  
> But it
> seems to be important as well because the scribe needs to know  
> himself, what
> he is doing if he votes for this and not for another symbol in a  
> specific
> variation ...
> Personally I prefer to write what I understand - and not what I am  
> told I
> should accept! ... and Ingvild and Charles - that is the reason that I
> support your ideas about what a hand shape symbol should look like  
> in order
> not to violate visual expectations - smile.
> On the other hand - yes Valerie - your continuous message "go ahead  
> and feel
> free to use the writing system as it may work best for you" allows  
> us the
> users of your invention to find out where we need some  additional
> information or symbols or experience.
> Your never ending kind patience and ability to discuss these  
> questions again
> and again and again without getting nervous or annoyed is very  
> helpful.
> Thank you very much for all you are doing and sharing!
> Stefan ;-)
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: sw-l-bounces at
> [mailto:sw-l-bounces at] Im Auftrag von  
> Ingvild Roald
> Gesendet: Dienstag, 2. Juni 2009 11:14
> An: SignWriting List
> Betreff: Re: AW: [sw-l] Namibia handshape construction
> 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).
> Just my feeling
> Ingvild
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