|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Fri Jul 7, 2000 1:56 pm
Subject: Re: rotation symbols and directions
>I am confused too. Because sometimes the little finger is supposed
>to lead, and sometimes the thumb. How would an outsider know which
>one 'felt' right? The rotations made in ASL feels all wrong in
>Norwegian SL, so, as I know I have said before, I would prefer
>symbols to mean 'clockwise' and 'anti-clockwise'. Then we would know
>what was meant.
>(I just had to go back into the sign file for the paper that is to
>be posted soon, to change the ASL 'ion' rotation - I had forgotten
>when I first wrote the sign that even if the handshapes are exatly
>the same as in NoSL and in FiSL, the rotation is opposite).
July 7, 2000
Hello Everyone, and Ingvild and Stefan -
Yes. I know. I understand the confusion, and I also understand that I
have not been able to explain myself properly. I have some neat ideas
for illustrations that will take care of this - at least I hope they
Meanwhile I am no artist and words are rediculous to explain such
things. But I can try. Please see the attached GIF.
First, you can write EITHER the baby finger OR the thumb pattern -
either one is fine and readable to an outsider. The idea of "feeling"
is thrown out...there are some concrete rules.
You are welcome to use the term clockwise or counter clockwise...that
is fine with me. Both the thumb and the baby finger can go either
clockwise or counter clockwise depending on the motion.
Do not assume that ASL does "this or that" - I have no idea what ASL
does! I know the sign for "signing" in ASL rotates one direction in
one ASL dialect, and rotates the opposite in another ASL dialect...I
have seen it with my own eyes...so I am not sure which ASL dialect
you are writing.
I am looking forward to teaching the seminar to the teachers in New
Mexico on July 20th, because I have a new way to teach the rotation
symbols and I want to share with them. But it is a "demonstration"
kind of teaching. The same demonstration in person, has to be
captured in illustrations and in print, and that will take me time.
I hope you won't change your dictionaries just because Valerie Sutton
needs some better teaching materials - ha!
The writing system will evolve and improve anyway, and all
dictionaries will go through changes. I am sure your dictionary is
excellent right now, and is the best under the circumstances I have
My word description of the GIF below:
Try to imagine that your arm is an axis (a straight line up and
down). It is encased inside a clear plastic tube that encircles the
entire arm. On the baby finger, you have a pencil with the point
sticking out touching the tube. The same kind of pencil is also on
your thumb. So imagine the silly picture of a hand with a pencil on
both the baby fingers and thumb, inside a clear plastic tube!
Now imagine rotating that arm and hand. The pencils will make marks
on the tube. The marks are the arrows on the rotation symbols. You
can use either the baby finger's mark, or the thumb's mark - it
Meanwhile, your paper is at a slant. The top of your page is closer
to the front wall (away from you). The bottom of your page is closer
to your chest (close to you). So the curve reflects that too...the
curve drawn by the finger that is further away from you (wall in
front of you) will be curving up since that is going towards the top
of the page, and the curve that is closer to your chest, will be
curving down, towards your chest...please see attached GIF: