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From:  Joe Martin
Date:  Wed May 19, 1999  9:19 am
Subject:  Re: two views

I'd like to second Wayne's thanks for sending this.
Unfortunately, my beat-up
feeble old brain is not able to wrap itself around this description.
How does this relate to the "expressive viewpoint" that is used in

In the Spanish sign for /door/, I don't understand how the hands can be
one in front of the other. Does it mean they overlap in the
frontal plane? Wouldn't you write the handshape symbols overlapping then?
(No entiendo, sorry)

If the hand is above the head, and this is something I've wondered about,
wouldn't that be shown with a "head" symbol, and a hand symbol written
above it? I thought you would write it as if looking up at it (expressive
viewpoint again) and so it would be white, i.e. not filled in.

Finally, I like the idea of different "spellings," and I wonder if what
you are describing here is evolving a phonemic way of writing the symbols.
That would be fascinating to see.

So many questions......


On Tue, 18 May 1999, Steve/Dianne Parkhurst wrote:
> 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,
> Steve

  Replies Author Date
1486 Phonemic way of writing Valerie Sutton Thu  6/17/1999
1515 clythe Joe Martin Thu  6/24/1999

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