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

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Tue Jun 2 17:45:28 UTC 2009

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 

Just my feeling




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