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From:  Steve/Dianne Parkhurst
Date:  Tue May 18, 1999  4:05 pm
Subject:  two views

Hi, everybody!

Valerie wrote regarding two different ways to write one orientation:

<< I remember that Steve and Dianne Parkhurst in Madrid, who are writing
own textbook on SignWriting, included instruction on this issue - so
perhaps they can explain it better than I can!>>

Well, let me give it a shot. This is what we explain to our students.

There are two ways of looking at the hands 1. straight-on; 2. top-down
(fingers separated from the hand). The straight-on view is the normal
view--what I see when my hands are in front of me. However, there are times
when I cannot clearly see the handshape, i.e. palm down and fingers pointed
away from the body. The only way I can clearly see the handshape at this
orientation is to look down on the hand. To distinguish the top-down view
from the straight-on, we separate the fingers from the hand.

There are some orientations that can be written from either point of view
and others that can only be written using one point of view. When you have
two options, it is up to the writer to decide which point of view is
clearer. For example, the sign for "door" here in Spain is two flat hands,
palm toward self, fingers toward center, the fingertips of the dominant
hand tapping the fingertips of the ND hand. Since the palm is toward me, I
can easily write both HSs from the straight-on view. But I lose all sense
of depth and don't know which hand is in front of the other. If I write it
from the top-down view, I can clearly see which hand is in front of the
other. Many times there is more than one way to write a sign. In class we
often asked the students to come up with an alternative way to write the
same sign and then we discussed why we might choose one over the other.

Here is a question that we were asked: "If my hand is above my head, I look
up and see the palm. How do I write that?" Actually it doesn't matter where
your hand is in relation to your eyes (it's sort of a bird's-eye view, not
a human-eye view). If your hand is palm down and fingers forward you can
only write it from the top-down view (black with the fingers separate from
the hand). You can't write it from the bottom looking up.

Related to this, straight movements that go side to side can be written
with either single-stemmed or double-stemmed arrows. Usually we use
single-stemmed arrows because they're quicker to write, but again, the
choice is left up to the writer. Both are correct.

The key is, be flexible. Remember that there is often more than one way to
do things. So, use the symbols to your advantage and make your writing as
clear and easy to read as possible.

Did I just muddy the water or what? Oh well.

hasta luego,

  Replies Author Date
1305 Re: two views Wayne H. Smith Tue  5/18/1999
1306 Researching... leslie Wed  5/19/1999
1313 Re: Researching... Valerie Sutton Wed  5/19/1999
1314 Re: Researching... Valerie Sutton Wed  5/19/1999
1317 Re: Researching... Valerie Sutton Wed  5/19/1999
1309 Re: two views Joe Martin Wed  5/19/1999
1486 Phonemic way of writing Valerie Sutton Thu  6/17/1999
1515 clythe Joe Martin Thu  6/24/1999

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