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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sat Nov 25, 2000  10:13 am
Subject:  Re: Spelling -question : angle -hands parallel to the floor

At 1:41 AM +0000 11/20/00, Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
>In fact I would love to see spellings of the positions if the hands are
>parallel to the floor but at an angle - like in boat or ship - up to now I
>feel uncomfortable fith the flat hands without any angle ?? Know what I mean
>In Nicaragua they add a line for each hand at an angle - while the hands are
>written in top-down view....."

SignWriting List
November 25, 2000

Dear List Members, and Stefan!

Thanks for this question ;-)

I am really impressed that James Shepard-Kegl in Nicaragua, and also
your work in Germany, Stefan, is including the horizontal-axis line
across the hands. That is pretty close to what has been used in the
past....considering that it is not in a textbook your instincts were
in keeping with the natural "feel" of the writing system - thank you
for that!

I remember discussing the possibility of including such diagonal hand
positions with Ingvild from Norway years ago when she came to visit
me...But after discussing all kinds of details, it became a little
overwhelming, so I chose not to burden sign-spellings with the
diagonal hand positions, because people seem to read signs without
writing all that detail. On the other hand, I may be wrong, so I will
be happy to include the diagonal positions in future textbooks.

Please see the attached diagram. As you can see, your writing is very
close. The only difference is that the line for the horizontal axis
is placed on a hand that does NOT have the space.

Regarding the hands that are parallel with the Floor Plane, which
have a space at the knuckle joint....That space actually has a
meaning. It represents the horizontal axis that is "hidden from view"
when you look overhead, so doubling up on the horizon line would not
make sense. Plus the hands are seen from the Front View, when they
are on the diagonal plane.

Hopefully I have attached the right diagram this time - ha! ;-)

And feel free to inform the List of any mistakes I make - I have no
problem with that...I need your help since I am not able to handle
everything - It is 2:00 in the morning right now, and I am bound to
make mistakes at this hour!

For those who are not interested in writing so much are
not alone, and don't worry about this....This is more for researchers
interested in general movement notation. A lot of teachers just write
signs without knowing half of these details, and amazingly enough,
the kids read and write well anyway!!

Thanks once again for your question, Stefan, and have a wonderful
weekend, everyone!

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