A basic theoretical choice must be made in order to show movement.
One can represent the beginning position and the movement, show
the beginning and end positions only, or show all three. SN has
made the first choice while keeping the option of showing the
end position if desired. Some signs show it and some don't, with
the "spelling" being up to the writer.
SSW also allows all three choices, and as more and more people
are reading and writing literature written in SSW, it is becoming
evident that all three choices are needed at times. About 10%
of SSW characters write both beginning and end position as well
as movement. The majority of characters have only a beginning
position and movement. However around 5% drop the beginning position
and keep the movement symbol and ending position. Writing both
positions is always an option in SSW, and is
useful for beginning readers, or for unfamiliar signs.
At first glance these two scripts seem totally different,
yet after allowing for the differing theoretical assumptions,
they are surprisingly similar. Both use a set of arbitrary symbols
for internal movement and both use arrows to show path movement,
with different types of arrows for different directions. SN classifies
all movement into 24 types, with a special symbol for each. Although
SSW has fewer actual movement symbols, its freer spatial arrangement
allows innumerable combinations, and thus considerably more detail.
For example, axial and circular movement, which SN calls rotary,
includes flexing the wrist or elbow or rotating the arm. (Figure
6) While SN requires the use of five more movement symbols, SSW
shows these with combinations of the basic movement arrows.
Figure 6: Rotary Motion (Axial Motion)
The ASL sign for "don't know."
||Arrows over head show a sideways head shake.
A flat hand rotates as it moves out.
SN uses only one symbol, "circular," for any movement
that is not straight. Anything more than a simple curve has to
be treated rather digitally as moving up, then out, then down;
whereas SSW arrows show curves and even loops (figure7).
Figure 7: Curved Motion (Looping Motion)
The ASL sign for "snake."
||Bent V moves away with
||Notice the looping sideways
A SSW arrow consolidates a great deal of information in one symbol;
the stem doubles for vertical movement, and the arrowhead is
different for right, left, or both hands. Writing the nearer
part of the arrow thicker makes use of perspective to show motion
toward or away from the Signer (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Movement Away From Signer
The ASL sign for "enter."
||Movement away from signer, stacked,
palm down, open palms.
||Tapered arrow curved movement down
and away from signer.