SignWriting List
November 16, 2011

Hello Madson and everyone -
I just found an old email message from you, dated back on August 18, 2011. And your questions were very similar to the ones below. Thank you for that message as well.

The older message in August was clear and I can study it better. For some reason, when you posted here to the List, the photos and symbols attached in an unorganized way and I had trouble figuring out which photo goes with which symbol…so now I will study your work better looking at the old message and answer more...

Regarding the fact that there are two different thumbs on the side of an A hand (a fist) - one thumb is more at an angle and the other thumb is closer to the fist - either one is fine with me - those two variations were put in the ISWA because some people needed the difference, but no one is required to use one or the other - it is the writer's choice.

Back in the old days (smile) in the 1980's and 1990's, we did not have as many choices. The SignWriter DOS program, for example, has under 90 hand symbols, and there was not a choice between two different thumb angles. One of the reasons you may see one symbol for fingerspelling, is perhaps because the old SignWriter DOS program has a fingerspelling keyboard for Brazil, which I put together at the direction of two Brazilian Sign Language users - and we may have chosen a particular symbol because there was nothing else to choose from - and over time people got used to that symbol, even though now there are more choices in the ISWA.

So if you write again, Madson, I would include just one photo and one symbol at a time, in one email - that will be easier for all of us to understand the questions...

And congratulations on your accomplishments - thanks for writing and informing us about your project -

Val ;-)


On Nov 12, 2011, at 9:50 AM, Madson Barreto wrote:

Dear Valerie Sutton and all members of list,
My name is Madson Barreto, I am translator-interpreter of Brazilian Sign Language (LSB/Libras) teen years ago. My wife is deaf, teacher of LSB. I’m student of the course “Letras Libras”, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. This course explore the Brazilian Sign Language, linguistic and focus on translation and interpretation of LSB for Brazilian Portuguese language. We know the SignWriting two years ago and since then we have researched this wonderful system of writing.
The last year, I created a Group for the Study of SignWriting here in state of Minas Gerais at my university. This group investigates the SignWriting. Our desire is that SignWriting is known for the deaf community because the system records with precise the Sign Languages.Congratulations to you and all researchs for the excellent work and research conducted on behalf of deaf communities around the world.
Please look these pictures of handshapes. Note that for each one these we have a suggestion of writing in others handshapes.
- The picture “1” is the union of 01-01-007 (ISWA code) and 01-06-019;
- The picture “2” rememb me 01-08-018;
- The picture “4” is the union of handshapes 01-01-003 and 01-05-008. It seems with 01-01-003.
- The picture “5” is the union of 01-06-013 [ I ] and 01-10-004 [A]. The handshape “5” is very alike to the 01-06-021 [Y]. Here in Brazil usually use it but it is very seems with 01-06-021 [Y]. I see that many people use it in dactylology (spelling) 01-10-004 for [A] and 01-09-019 for [G]. The handshape 01-06-021 is a different picture of “5”.
We intent include the handshape 1,2,3,4 and 5 them in ISWA and disclose this here in Brazil for use of the 01-09-019 and 01-10-004, stop using 01-09-018 and 01-10-003 because they cause confusion in the writing of handshape “5”.
Eagerly await your reply,
Madson and Raquel Barreto


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
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