Rotation Symbols

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Mar 7 16:08:51 UTC 2011

SignWriting List
March 7, 2011

On Mar 7, 2011, at 1:34 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:
> Of the symbols in the grid, the movements in row 3 and 7 from the top are larger than the others  - isn't that right? Not just a small 'flip' but a turning? For example, the second and the third row start at the same posistion but end up differently, while the third and the forth row start differently and end up the same.
> Ingvild 

Hello Ingvild!

I assume you are referring to this attached diagram, captured from SignMaker in SignPuddle, which shows the grid of the Rotation Symbols in the International SignWriting Alphabet 2008 and 2010:

The symbols in Rows 3 and 7 certainly do look bigger and paint a bigger path...that is true. And most of the time they are used that way too. They are the rotations that paint the curve or twist Side-Forward-Side, or there are three directions to the twist, while the symbols in the first row, for example, are just Forward-Side, so they are shorter - that is true.

Over time, in daily writing, it has become more relaxed - I am not sure if every writer really measures exactly the path of the baby finger or thumb, but generally it is correct to say that the symbols were designed the way you have described, Ingvild...Thank you for bring this up...

But there are new symbols in this grid that were never a part of the SignWriting software in 2004 or earlier, and those are the Corner Rotations...those are Rows 2, 4, 6 and 8 - those are symbols showing a smaller rotation or twist...not as large as Rows 3 and 7...and the Corner Rotations are new since ISWA 2008, which we are using in SignPuddle right now... The Corner Rotations are not meant to start as far side as the symbols in Rows 3 and 7 are smaller twists that hit the corners... I do not know how many people use these!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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