SignWriting List
January 28, 2011

Signs in these examples are written in Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS) and are from the book Novo Diet-Libras, Língua de Sinais Brasileira, Volume 1, Universidade de São Paulo;


SignSpelling Guideline 5:
Surface Symbols are NOT needed in daily writing... Do not use them for everyday use ... 

Surface Symbols are Contact Symbols. They can only be used when two hands are contacting each other or contacting another part of the body. They are used in detailed writing, when trying to show the exact surface where the contact is occasionally Surface Symbols have value for detailed writing...but readers read signs without them and the writing becomes easier to read if you do not use them. 

Here is a GOOD example of the use of a Surface Symbol below. The two hands contact each other, and the Surface Symbol shows that the right hand is on top of the left hand's surface:

But for everyday writing, even in this correct case above, I would not write the Surface Symbol, unless there is another sign in the language that is done on another surface and could be confused with it.

Here is an INCORRECT use of a Surface Symbol:

In the sign above, which shows the right hand swinging forward and back under the finger of the left hand, the two hands do not touch. There is no contact, so it cannot use a Surface Symbol. The writer was trying to show that the right hand is placed "under" the left hand, but that could easily be read without the Surface Symbol... This sign is illustrated on page 359 of Novo-Diet-Libras, showing no contact.

So here is how I would write the sign for BALANÇO (2):

More examples of incorrect use of Surface Symbols will be listed next message...

Learn more about Surface Symbols

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
[log in to unmask]

Post Messages to the SignWriting List:
[log in to unmask]

SignWriting List Archives & Home Page

Join, Leave or Change How You Receive SW List Messages