[Sw-l] Placement of Signs in Space

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Apr 22 13:13:53 EDT 2021

SignWrting List
April 22, 2021

Hello Adam, Andre, Cherie, Kacio, Steve, Jonathan and everyone -

Thank you for your messages and diagrams about "writing depth”. What wonderful messages you all posted, There are so many ways to write this...

And thank you Adam, for the two videos posted yesterday. They helped me a lot ;-)

As you know, the Top View can be mixed with the Front View. The Head in Top View establishes the “depth” but the rest of the sign .. the hands, the movements … can be written in the Front View, placed either near or far from the Head & body. It sounds crazy, but this combination of viewpoints seems to be working for readers.

The Front View also works with the Shoulder Line. It is clear that the second handshape is “far away” because of the Movement Arrow putting it there at the end of the movement. See diagram:

And looking at the above diagram I can see other ways to write it too. So there are a variety of choices. For me, the Movement Arrow gives me the depth information, but if you do not want to use an arrow, then the old “sizes” work very well.

Originally SignWriting was designed to keep the writing ALL Front View, using "size of symbols" to write the depth perspective of “far away”. Smaller symbols represented “far away”.

This would work well with video transcription, such as Amit Moryossef’s amazing software representation of a stick figure on a video:

https://youtu.be/pCKRWSNIaNQ <https://youtu.be/pCKRWSNIaNQ>

So originally, the general “Movement Writing” system was designed without mixing viewpoints within one sign. 

I want to thank Steve Slevinski for his posting about CSS Styling strings and the fact that Steve’s styling strings make it possible in software to change the size of symbols, and thank you Steve, for SignMaker 2017 <https://signbank.org/signmaker.html>  and thank you, Jonathan, for the Quick SignEditor <https://jonathandduncan.github.io/QuickSignEditor/> programs that are implementing those styling strings right now. I am grateful for your efforts and I hope to use the size differences now to write a technical document about these issues.

I am aware of the point, that Rich Text is great for individual documents or signs that can be captured in graphics so the information is not lost, but in an actual symbolset, the information of “small” vs “large” would be lost if it is just plain text.

Nonetheless, I am glad to know I can access the smaller symbols in the two programs and I plan to use it for some demonstrations.

I have more to share later - hope you all can get up from your computers and do some exercise - it is so easy to sit for hours without realizing we need to move too!

Have a great day everyone -

Val ;-)



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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