Date: Mon Nov 13, 2000 2:25
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: OK! I need your opinions ;-))....
>1. what about handwriting? That will be hard when you have the palm away
>(black square or 'house')and one or more dots
>2. I seems to me that the handshapes of the system should all change the
>same way when you flip around in space. This has been one of my main
>objections to the Danish way of making their own variation of Sign Writing -
>they took Valrie's system and changed it to their own liking, adding a lot
>of new handshape symbol variatons, so that you have to remember many more
>symbols. That may not be the case here, if we can use this way with the dots
>as a standard, but then my first objection must find a solution. We are not
>just talking print here, we are talking kids learning to write theri own
>languae, shopping notes scribbled down in haste, love letters, manuscripts
>for Deaf Club presentations, .....Ingvild
November 13, 2000
Dear SW List and Ingvild!
Thank you, Ingvild, for this message ;-)
As you all know, Denmark was the first country to use SignWriting
with the school system, back in 1982-1989. And it was a blessing for
SignWriting. But later, one Dane decided to change the writing
system, adding many new symbols. I was on the telephone with them for
weeks and weeks, from California to Copenhagen, and I literally
begged them not to make the changes. But they were stubborn, and the
changes were made.
I appreciate it, Ingvild, that you mentioned this. I don't think most
people realize the complicated balance I try to maintain. On one hand
I must remain flexible, because everyone has a right to their own
feelings, and people do see visual things differently. But on the
other hand, I have to stay with what I believe in too...
So to summarize...the dots that show projection forward are a general
part of Sutton Movement Writing (the general writing system). When
writing dance, for example, we use a large dot for an entire arm
projecting forward..so dots are there for us to choose, if we really
However, when it comes to SignWriting, I suspect we should leave it
as it is...we already have some newer symbols that use the dots as a
standard - those are handshapes that are rare and do not exist in ASL.
And everyone of these handshapes has 8 rotations, and 6 palm
facings...that is a lot....so I suspect we should leave everything as
There are some people asking for 16 rotations instead of 8...so that
is another topic of future discussions - ha!
And in regards to handwriting, Ingvild, you are correct that the dark
square for the back of the hand is hard to write by hand no matter
what the symbol...and that is another issue that needs to be thought
about - Deaf kids are writing by hand all the time now, around the
world, so they are using their own form of handwriting...It would be
interesting to study their handwritten notes, to learn what works for
them, and from their experiences, we might be able to establish
better handwriting standards several years from now...
A lot to chew on, this Monday morning!!
Thanks for your messages -
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