SignWriting List
September 15, 2011

Hi Charles -
The encoding of the ISWA 2010 does not know anything about right or left hands. The Symbol Palette of 96 hand symbols (see attached) has nothing to do with right or left...The top part of the grid shows rotations going counter-clockwise, and the lower part of the grid are symbols that are flopped and rotating clockwise - So there is no judgement of right or left - The encoding simply has a number for each symbol in each flop and rotation - that is all -

This means that these Symbol Palettes can be applied to writing Receptively or Expressively (which switches right with left), or any other writing style, such as the palm facing issues we were discussing earlier...and all of these writiing styles use the same Symbol Palettes of the ISWA 2010 with complete freedom, and with everything they need.

And the SignSpelling column, in SignPuddle for sorting dictionaries by sign-symbols, is completely free as well - the program does not guess which hand is dominant, or which hand is right or left - the writer states which hand is dominant in the SignSpelling column, so that way no mistake can be made - The writer has the freedom to choose his or her sorting method.

So the ISWA 2010 is neutral on any writing styles and can be used in many different ways, and still remain stable for programmers - that is the beauty of it - believe me, I can see room for improvement, but I know that programmers and users need stability, and so since we can build when we need to, the stability combined with flexibility gives us all we need.

Regarding "constructed symbols" that are not a part of the official encoding... (that we build ourselves using ISWA 2010 parts)...that too can be beneficial to the SignWriting Community in the long run. It will be easy in SignPuddle to search for those "constructed symbols" to give us an understanding of what is needed for the future. And through special programming in some software, the constructed symbols could become searchable, so it is all positive... in other words...the contructed symbols will give us information we need to move forward - so I am really excited about the future - it is very positive -

Val ;-)

PS. I have fulfilled two out of 5 orders - I am getting there -


On Sep 15, 2011, at 8:02 PM, Charles Butler wrote:

The problem I see with adding a new handshape, or "writing what I see" is that in indexing, the SW 2010 system, if indexed by handshape, would show my writing of what I see as the right hand on the clown face, if indexed by the system, would be listed as a left hand in the actual coding. 

If I were to do a one-to-one correspondence in a verbal system such as Sign Text, we'd get opposite hands connected to the same face and handshape, requiring individual editing, not a clear data merge. 

How can this be resolved? I'm thinking of this on a programming basis. What I write as a "right" hand is seen by the numbering of the coding as a "left" hand. 

Although it has been stated that each of us are free to use the system as we wish, the actual encoding of the SW 2010 presumes that one writing is preferred, and will be interpreted, if indexed by the system, as correct. We both can't write the same sign with opposite hands and have them interpreted by the same system as meaning the same thing.

Charles Butler

--- On Wed, 9/14/11, Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: AW: Three-claw solution
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 3:37 PM

I'm trying to see a way that it is very clear for all handshapes for three claws going face forward.  This is claws, not bent fingers. No one seems to be objecting to completely bent fingers, it's these claw hands that seem to be giving people woogies.


--- On Wed, 9/14/11, Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: AW: Three-claw solution
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 3:12 PM

Hi Charles,

I do not understand your intention. There is no need for any additional symbol ... The three claw hand shape looks perfect to me.




Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Charles Butler
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 14. September 2011 00:37
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Three-claw solution


Here is a solution I came up with that parallels the circle spot for straight fingers pointing forward. I propose a square spot or box for curves going forward for the flat hand. The square is to show the nail of the hand. If the curves go left or right, they are drawn that way, but if the curves actually bend forward or back you'd show the nail. 


That way it is a true position, not a compromise position that can be confused.


I tried to create this in powerpoint but lost the picture.