AW: discussion: design of bent fingers

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Fri Feb 15 20:39:19 UTC 2013

Hi Rachel, Valerie, Charles...


thank you for your comments. 

I do not know. I am afraid my English is not good enough to explain what our
design team is trying to find out. 


Let me try again ... smile. 


Personally – as someone who is working with SignWriting for more than a
decade now – I do not miss anything and I feel so accustomed to the font as
it is that I feel pretty astonished if anybody shows up with the idea to
“i m p r o v e”   the design of the symbols in order to make them look more
“modern” or more “nice” or easier to accept or ... or ... or... 


Valerie you know about the discussion with another project years ago - ... I
do not want to think of that. ... ;-) 


Now there is another group of design students. They try to “brush up” the
symbols. From time to time I try to explain to them that by all means we
should not change anything which would cause problems if it comes to
misinterpretations – 


...within this context Valerie explained again the idea behind the root of a
given hand shape ... 


Now we happened to find an interesting phenomenon. 


Human fingers are as they are – smile – No way to bent your fingers in a
smooth curve because of the bones of a given lenght. 


I understand perfectly, that we can discuss that different variations of a
curved hand (flat hand, more open  C – Hand, more closed C-Hand, E – Hand ,
O- Hand, S-Hand) are possible and can be written so that the reader should
get an idea of the scribes intention. 


That is not my point. 


What I am interested in is to understand why we find different designs for
extremely bent fingers depending on the fact how many fingers are involved.
We do write these bent fingers as angular/hooked/bent handshape, if we are
talking about one, two or three fingers but write half circle curves if
there are more fingers involveld. 






Is this just by accident?  Is this a matter of how to get a clear design in
small fonts...? Is it a relict of the DOS-software with limitations if it
comes to smooth lines,,? 



If it does not matter it would be no problem to just write half-circle
curves in order to indicate that we are talking about the extremly bent
fingers. (Have a look at the “claw – hand”)


If it is my feeling that the hooked  index finger is better represented with
angular/hooked/bent handshape –


If we would design this finger with a half circle at the end of the finger
it feels to me kind of “not correct”


 I was told that I would probably be able to overcome my irritation and
would be able to become familiar with this  “new” presentation as “half
circle curve” .... if I see this writing again and again... 


So from my point of view it makes sense just as Charles pointed out
"beautiful" artwork must make sure that you don't lose articulation.” In
order to find out that this should not happen I try to invite all of you to
think about this -...


Thank you very much for your attention. 









Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACOLLEGE.EDU] Im Auftrag von Rachel Channon
Gesendet: Freitag, 15. Februar 2013 20:31
Betreff: Re: discussion: design of bent fingers


Two examples:

ASL fingerspelled C is normally a curved handshape, E is an
angular/hooked/bent handshape.  Under some circumstances, the normally
curved C handshape might become more angular (perhaps when fingerspelling
E-C-E fast)  or the E handshape might relax into a more curved handshape
(perhaps L-E-O might produce this).  ((I’m inventing these examples just to
make the point here – they may be wrong).  

I would think that you might want to continue writing the C with a more
curved handshape and the E with a more angular representation even if they
looked identical on the surface.  

Is this what you mean, Stefan?


Best, Rachel


Rachel Channon

Sign Language Investigations, LLC



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