I follow generally the following (this is fine tuned looking at specific signs). Using groups is logical not because they are ASL numbers, but because the systematically go through which fingers are being used.  The point of an ordered dictionary is "from one sign to the next, what is the least change necessary to move to the next sign in order."

Group 1 is the single index finger as the articulator.
Group 2 is the single index finger and middle finger as articulators.
Group 3 is the single index finger, middle finger and thumb as articulators (a very large group)
Group 4 is solely the four fingers, with the thumb across the hand (such an ASL E or B)
Group 5 is all five fingers, if all five are used as articulators, starting with the flat hand with all five fingers straight up, the one handshape that every sign language, so far, uses.
Group 6 is the middle three fingers as articulators, or the thumb and little finger as articulators.  ASL 6, Y, I are this group
Group 7 uses the ring finger by itself or touching the thumb
Group 8 uses the middle finger alone or touching the thumb alone. Note that this group is not the same as Group 3 where the middle finger, thumb, and forefinger are used.
Group 9 uses the index finger and thumb as the unit
Group 10 is solely the thumb.  

Any Category can be skipped if it is does not occur in the sign

1) Handshape - using the 10 groups of signs
 - under handshape - take the handgroup and order it logically, at the moment it is ordered historically as they were added.
- I tend to write straight fingers, then flexed fingers, then curves, then contacts.  It used to be easy but with the multiple signed languages it has begun to be a challenge.
- within a given handshape use rotations as the guide
      - handshape toward reader using dominant hand and rotations toward the center (all eight)
      - handshape edge toward reader using dominant hand and rotations toward the center (all eight)
     - handshape back toward reader using dominant hand and rotations toward the center (all eight)
     - handshape face up (all eight rotations)
     - handshape edge up (all eight rotations)
     - handshape face down (all eight rotations)

Examples (from Czech) (within group 1)

(all examples using this orientation and rotation, first, right now, when you search by handshape, they are all over the place).  START by adding this order to your dictionary.  Even using one or two ordering directions will make it flow logically, I tend to use handshape and orientation first, then see the small differences with location, and then touch before movement. 



image.php.png (index finger, toward reader, pointed up, no movement, touch at eyes)


image.php.png (index finger, toward reader, pointed up, no movement, two touches)



image.php.png (index finger, toward reader, pointed up, no movement, touch at nose)




image.php.png  (index finger, toward reader, pointed up, movement up (however complicated, it is still up and is still the first movement). 





image.php.png index fingers toward reader, pointed up, movement down with emphasis, note movement down comes before movement forward and back




image.php.png index finger, toward reader, pointed up, movement toward reader to the left



image.php.png index finger, toward reader, pointed up, movement toward reader to the left, added eyes following hand direction of movement


image.php.png  index finger, pointed up, movement toward reader to the center



image.php.png Index finger, facing reader, pointed up, movement toward reader to the center, added eyes following direction of movement of hand



image.php.png index finger, facing reader, 45 degrees toward center, touching nose, no movement. Note, compound sign follows first position. 



MORE LATER - but work on handshape and orientation first, then movement, and this should help get you started.




2) Head (location) clockwise starting at the top of the head (I would tend to put location before any movement, I consider location before touch, you have to know where you are.  
3) Body (location) neck and then down the arms, down the body, waist, and legs (this will need full articulation)

4) Touch (touch between), Strike (strike between), Brush (brush between), Rub (rub between) 

7) Straight movement
     - up and down (all 8 rotations starting with up) (double arrow) (8 rotations)
     - diagonal up (rare, but needs a place) 8 rotations (double arrow with line or with spot)
     - straight out (single arrow) (8 rotations)
     - diagonal down (rare, but needs a place) 8 rotations (double arrow with stem or spot) (8 rotations)

8) Curved movement (single)
     (we need more exploration here), going through logical pairs and looking at order.

9) Curved movement (multiple), we need more exploration here.

10) Speed (this is last, but sometimes comes into play).  



From: Honza <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, January 28, 2011 5:11:56 AM
Subject: how to order sign in SL dictionary

Hello everyone,

I wonder how to order signs in SL dictionary in the part SL to spoken language.
In spoken language it is common to order signs in order of alphabeth, but what about the another direction?
In this part SL to spoken language it is common to order signs by hanshapes, but in which order?
Does anybody have any experineces with this order? I know that in US it is used number order (as groups in SignPuddle).

thanks for your advices.
Honza, Czech Republic