Evolution to Simplified SignWriting

Eduardo Trápani etrapani at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 12 14:44:07 UTC 2013

Hi Val!

Thanks for the explanation on the position of contact. Reading it now
makes a lot more sense than it did when I started signwriting a while
ago. Thanks for refreshing the concept. I will go over the signs I've
written and the very few I uploaded to the puddle.

> I just received a message from Madson explaining that the Logo
> actually is not meant to show contact…as I suspected, the sign can be
> signed with or without contact and is clear and correct either way
> (see Madson's message below). So your confusion was understandable…if
> you thought that was showing contact - the hands are actually some
> space apart and are meant to be that way:

Ok, now the sign makes sense to me. He had written:
>> We remove touch star on all signs that have just one contact
>> and hands are already close enough to show that they are in contact,
>> include our logo for /Libras Escrita/.

That's what confused me, it was as if that removal of the touch star had
been a result of the simplification, meaning that the contact was still

Madson then mentions the simplification of the book sign, note how the
star goes but the hands remain at the same distance:

Imagem inline 3

See the difference with your simplification of house?

The star was removed, but the hands are now closer.

Couldn't we have a "best practice" kind of advice, not to simply remove
the star, but also to make obvious that the hands touch by either
overlapping or bringing them really close together? Just as you did with
"house"?  For "book" (in Libras) it would be something like you also did
for Book (ASL), the hands are really close.

Maybe it depends on who are we writing for. I think SW is great for,
among other things, helping hearing and deaf people communicate, giving
hearing people more tools to learn SL.

But if a certain SW text or document is meant to be used mainly by SL
speakers, then it might be ok for a dictionary to have the simplified
"book" sign in Libras, as it is now, with the hands apart.  I just think
it's a pity, because I guess that bringing those two hands together, as
you did in the ASL sign, would not slow down deaf readers and would be a
lot clearer for the rest of us.  It's just a couple of pixels, but
semantically (and not just for humans) it is very important.

Time will tell ...

I love SW! Eduardo.
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