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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Jun 23, 1999  1:33 pm
Subject:  In-Between Palm Facings

>On Thu, 27 May 1999, Ingvild Roald wrote:
>Valerie and I have been discussing what to do when hands are neither
>palm down or palm to the side, but rather 45 degrees. In NSL the
>HOUSE is made by both hands pointing forwards, and then making the
>slope of the roof and then the walls. We have not discussed this
>sign, but the signs for BOAT and PLOW (for snow), which is a pair,
>both hands pointing 45 degrees forwards and finger tips meeting, and
>in BOAT the middle and the ringfinger's tips would touch, but in
>the PLOW the middle and the index finger's tips would touch. We
>talked about making the black part of the hands broader or slimmer,
>to denote this. I think that as the size of the printed signs get
>smaller, this will be complicated, and suggest another soultion:
>place the touch-star over / under the touching tips of the hands, for
>the two signs.

June 23, 1999

Hello Ingvild -
Thank you for this great paragraph, which relieved me of much stress! I
remember our conversation years ago about "in-between palm facings", and I
had planned to put the symbols into SignWriter 5.0. Then I became concerned
about another would not only increase the amount of symbols, it
would also increase the amount of "tapping on the keys" to find the palm
facing you need. Right now we tap up to 6 times to find 6 palm facings -
with "in-between palm facings" we would tap up to 10 times to find 10 palm

For those on the SW List, who wonder what we are talking about (grin),
SignWriting is a flexible writing system that if written by hand, has
tremendous visual variation.

But when designing a computer program for typing those variations, we have
to decide what variations we want to include, and what variations are not
that important for general communication.

The 6 palm facings that are included in SignWriter 4.3 seem to be enough
for us to communicate. We have a "view of the palm, side and back of the
hand" on two planes. That makes 6. The in-between palm facings add a "view
of the diagonal position of the hand" - between palm and side, and between
side and back.

Although diagonal views of the hands are useful for research, for everyday
use it seems we can "get by" without them. As Ingvild pointed out above, by
placing contact stars in certain positions, she was able to convey the
communication in another way.

If you are curious to see all the palm facings...go to these pages on the web:


Lesson 2: Hands, Part One

Have a great day everyone!

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton


The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

  Replies Author Date
1510 ordering Joe Martin Thu  6/24/1999
1526 Re: Deaf Missions Valerie Sutton Sat  6/26/1999
1527 Re: ordering Valerie Sutton Sat  6/26/1999

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