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From:  Lourdes Tollette
Date:  Sun Nov 14, 1999  5:55 am
Subject:  Re: Sign for "ball" in DGS


Is that sign "Ball" from Germany or ASL? I let u see the Forsty the
snowman and I sign "ball" in the book. Or is Stefen talk about "basketball"
or just "ball"? Lourdes

-----Original Message-----
From: Valerie Sutton [SMTP:]
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 1999 9:10 PM
To: SignWriting List
Subject: Re: Sign for "ball" in DGS

>Hello -
> It strikes me that all three would be signed differently. Stefan's
>clearly indicates the contact at the beginning and end of the sign.
>of Valerie's indicates that, per se, or is it to be understood in some
>Of course Valerie's second one doesn't move down, does it? They just flip
>over, yes? no? Or do the hands trace a small curve in space? This
>discussion of nitty-gritty is helpful to me to learn the details of the
>various movement symbols.
> - Wayne


November 13, 1999

Yes. That's right. I didn't write contact because I am not sure that the
sign would be mis-understood if you take the contact away....that was just
following the Danes idea that we should only write what is necessary...on
the other hand, contact is easy to write - so I certainly don't care! What
matters is that the hands are placed close together...that is what is
important to keep the visual feeling of how the sign looks. Stefan will
have to tell us whether the sign changes meaning with or without the
contact written.

If we were writing DanceWriting...that would be another story...we would
write everything we see without questioning what is important. And when we
write signs "phonetically" - in other words "exactly" the way ONE person
produces the movements...that most definitely can be done...and that is all
we did for years. It is only recently that we started writing a "little bit
of this" and a "little bit of that" is all SignWriting...just
being applied in different ways.

And while I think of it...let me Sutton Movement Writing we
don't throw out symbols...they are always there for us to choose, if we
wish. It is like we have a closet full of symbols. The symbols themselves
NEVER change meaning....but they do change in how they are applied. Maybe
you decide you don't want to write "Simultaneous"..that is fine...but the
Simultaneous Symbol is still on the shelf in the Movement Writing closet,
for you to choose to use anytime you wish.

So when I suggested that we not use the Simultaneous Line as much...I
wasn't "throwing out" Simultaneous Lines completely...I am only choosing a
new way to apply those symbols. So the Simultaneous Line will always be
there for us when we need it.

And we definitely need it for changes in dynamics...for example, a sign
that moves the right arm first while the left arm is still, then the left
arm moves while the right arm is still (that is a form of alternating
motion), and then suddenly, within the same sign, both arms move
simultaneously...that kind of sequence will benefit from a Simultaneous
Line to highlight the change in the relationship between the movements of
the arms at the end of the sign. I know researchers right now who would
need that kind of detail written for the work they are doing. But
meanwhile, in simple signs, that are not complex like that, I think
assuming that both are moving simultaneously and not using the Simultaneous
Line all the time, is a good compromise.

In regards to the rotation symbols in Stefan's sign...yes of course the
second sign I wrote is stationary... it is not traveling - it is flipping
in one place in the pattern of the curved arrow - the thin line shows that
the forearms are parallel with the floor and that is our axis - the
movement is rotating around a stationary axis - chapter 8 in our textbook.

I like to write signs many times in many ways - that way, Stefan and others
can see the differences and think through the nuances..I bet that sometimes
there is emphasis on the down part of the sign....I bet sometimes the
movement is bigger, because it is describing a large ball rather than a
small one...that would take a larger curved arrow. In other words, the sign
is written differently, depending on how it changes in a sentence..and I
bet that there are times when the sign is signed with the flip motion
without a real curve because a person is signing quickly...for example in
ASL when people sign "ball-ball-ball" moving quickly from left to right -
every one of the spellings might be short flips because of the speed of
signing them in a row....

Val ;-)

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