forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sat Jun 26, 1999  12:22 am
Subject:  Re: ordering

>this raises a question I wonder about. In this case it seems natural to
>interpret the touch symbol to apply to the nearest handshape, but in other
>cases it is not so clear, and the same applies to the movement arrows.
>Once again, are there "rules" for what order to write the symbols, and/or
>where to locate them in relation to each other?

>Joe Martin, Plain Old Ordinary Student


There are some very definite visual rules, but other rules are quite
flexible and vary from country to country. Norway is an example. They found
a good solution to a problem, and just as long as everyone there
understands the rule regarding that situation, it can be read well in

Meanwhile - contact stars pose a fascinating situation. Not every country
feels they are that important. Especially touch. The Danes stopped using
the touching star except when the meaning could be confused with another
sign, because they felt that you can see the touch anyway from the
positions of the hands, and when you sign fast, you don't have time to
touch anyway, so why write it unless it changes the meaning of the sign or
confuses it with another sign? That is what the Danes told me :-)

All I can say of these days I should write all this up - there are
so many writing norms occurring in different countries now - and most of
them I have noticed - but I have not had the chance to mention them in our
Lessons In SignWriting Textbook yet - most of them relate to contact. So
someday Joe, all this will be documented.

Meanwhile - thanks for your article comparing Stokoe and SignWriting, and
please contact me about the article so we can go over it together, via

Have a great weekend!

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

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