|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Fri Nov 12, 1999 3:00 pm
Subject: Re: Compound signs in ASL
> Was interested in the four different ways of writing DOG in ASL.
>Essentially I saw:
>1. finger snapping
>2. striking twice on the leg
>3. striking twice on the leg followed by finger snapping, and
>4. ditto with the ## symbols written to the left of the handshape
November 12, 1999
Yes that is right! Number 4 is written that way to make the "unit" more
compact...it takes less space when typing...but actually I suspect #3 is
Notice how the sign becomes a unit....Instinctively we all read these
visual units by finding the stem of the arrows. You have to know where the
beginning stem of the arrow is...that tells you that the sign is beginning
at the stem, and ends at the tip of the arrow.
So you can see that we are not writing from top to bottom....we are writing
from the "center of the sign" and then out in the direction of the
arrow...so the sign for dog starts at the hip area, where the thigh is
slapped twice and then following the stem of the arrrow, continues
If we were really writing from top to bottom only...then it could not be
written in that visual fashion.
So the signs themselves are written from the center of the sign, but once
the "sign unit" is created, we then stack those "sign units" vertically
down the page. They can also be placed left to right...and if people prefer
that, that is OK too. Just as long as the "sign units" themselves are
written so others can read them....the direction of writing can be flexible.
As you know, the reason we place signs vertically now is because Deaf
people requested it...