forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Feb 17, 1999  6:11 pm
Subject:  Re: Sign-Symbol-Sequence

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999, Richard Tennant wrote:
>In my dictionary the
>purpose for example is to locate a sign to be translated into an English
>equivalent so the "thing" is in that case a sign. In your case the "thing"
>might be a symbol that is to be translated into a movement, for example.

Hi Richard -
Yes, sometimes we are looking up the English equivalent, but other times
our dictionaries are just one signed language to another signed language
and there are no English words.

In regards to SignWriting's sequence....back in the late 1970's, when I was
first working on the Sequence, linguists informed me that there were three
handshapes that are used the most in signed languages around the world -
the index finger (used for pointing), the flat hand (often used as a base
hand), and the basic fist. And of course there are many variations of these
handshapes inbetween.

So, I placed the Index Finger in the beginning of our Sequence, the Flat
Hand in the middle of the Sequence, and the Fist at the end of the
Sequence, with variations inbetween.

So we start with the "pointing handshape" since that seems to be so generic
and used in every signed language:


Perhaps someone on the List knows....which handshape occurs the most in all
signed languages?

Valerie ':-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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