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From:  Steve/Dianne Parkhurst
Date:  Fri May 21, 1999  6:47 pm
Subject:  Expressive View Point

Dear Joe and everybody else,

Joe wrote:

<<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

Here is my impression of what expressive viewpoint means: you write what
you are doing, not what someone else is doing. In otherwords, when I write,
my left hand it is left of center on the page and my right is on the right.
(Receptive viewpoint says that I see someone else's right hand and write it
the way I see it--left of center). However the expressive point of view is
not really what my eyes see but rather what I would see if I stood behind
myself and could look right through me. For example, when I touch my ear I
cannot see my hand. If I turn and look at it I would see my palm. If a
person were standing right behind me they would see my head, my ear, and
the side of my hand, so that is what I write. So, no, I am not writing what
my eyes really see but it is still from my point of view, the expressive
view. The same goes for the view of looking down on my hands. It is not
really what my eyes see but rather what someone would see if they were
looking down on me. Sort of an "out-of-body" experience :-). But still it
is what I do, not what others do.

<<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)>>

Yes the fingertips do overlap. That us precisly the problem. Since the SW
symbols are two dimensional and see-through there is no way of knowing
which hand is in front of the other. When I write by hand, and take the
extra time, I can draw it so that the hand closest to me covers up the part
of the hand that it overlaps. But right now you can't do that on the
computer and it's more work than it's worth when writing fast. So, for this
reason looking down from the top gives me the depth I need to clearly
understand how it's signed.

<<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.>>

Yes, you would need to put the head in there to show the height of the hand
but the hand would still be black as if you were looking down on it.
Picture yourself hovering over your own head and looking down on yourself.

<<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.>>

One of my goals in encouraging writing here in Spain is to encourage people
to write phonemically--write enough information that a knowledgable signer
would have absolutely no doubt what was being signed/written--and nothing
more. Unfortunately that means that you, or Valerie, or anyone who does not
know Spanish SL may not pronounce everything exactly right. If I write for
linguists or foreigners I need to write phonetically and add the detail
that the Deaf Spaniard would assume. Different audience, different type of

Hope that helps clarify things a bit.

Have a good day,

  Replies Author Date
1375 Re: Expressive Viewpoint Valerie Sutton Tue  6/1/1999

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