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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Nov 8, 2001  8:04 pm
Subject:  Re: Diagonal-Sagittal Hands

SignWriting List
November 8, 2001

Hi Everyone, and of course Steve and Dianne and Stefan!

Thank you for sharing everything about your visit to Germany - And
thanks for the great attached GIF, which does bring up several great

.....Just a quick point about the horizon line, that cuts across the
hands and arrows on the diagonal plane forward and back...

The horizon line is like a tool that can be used anytime you want to
create a diagonal position or movement. And are absolutely
right...the horizon line can move up and down on the hand or arrow
stem line, depending on how the hand hits the horizon and when...So
these symbols are quite variable.

There is an easy way to document it....if we could take a photo of
the hand relating to a horizontal a railing in front of
the body. When the hand is directly on top of the bar, the hand is
parallel to the floor and therefore the bar is hidden from view and
so it creates that hollow break in the handshape because the horizon
line is hidden underneath the hand...that symbol, as well as the
arrows on the diagonal plane and the diagonal hands...all of them can
have the bar move down or up on the symbols...almost like a geger
counter or a weather vane...the horizontal line, whether it be hollow
or a dark movable up and down...So what you wrote does
exist, Steve, and you certainly have the right idea of the
situation...It can get quite complex though, because as you move the
horizon line up and down on the symbol the hands and movement arrows
relate differently to the horizon, creating in-between horizontal
planes - so if we used them on a daily basis, you are right, that we
would have to define each one with a definite plan. The reason the
symbols have not been as defined, is because we were not using them
in SignWriting...

This is the very reason why I am focusing so hard on the SignBank
Database right now. Because with SymbolBank in published form, we can
have every symbol in the entire writing system documented in a
database and you can type in the word "diagonal" and get all the
possible variations of one symbol and how they are applied.

I am almost done with an 18 page instruction booklet for the beta
test version of SignBank 2.0 and I hope to get back on the List
soon...Meanwhile, thank you everyone for all your great messages and
I look forward to more communication -

My best to everyone -

Val ;-)


>Valerie and list,
>Attached here is a bitmap with my suggestion for diagonal-sagittal hands.
>To me, the line across the hands represents the part of the hand that is
>tilted toward the horizon. I suggest that the line be placed toward the
>fingers if the fingers are the part that is farthest from the body (closest
>to the horizon). If we move the line closer to the base of the hand it would
>signify that the base is farthest from the body.
>Personally this notation really only has value to me as a linguist, not as a
>story writer. This notation is very confusing so I don't think it is worth
>including in normal written texts. I've always found that textual context is
>sufficient to clear up any doubt that might arise from the lack of this hand
>So, for what it's worth, here is my bitmap.
>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:steve-rotation.bmp (BMPp/JVWR) (000237EE)

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