Hi Maria,

It looks like your questions were answered.  Please repeat any questions that were not.

Regarding the base symbols, here are my thoughts...

On 7/27/12 10:26 PM, MARIA GALEA wrote:
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How would you define the base symbol of ISWA 2010?
I believe Stuart Thiessen used the term "exemplar" in his MA thesis instead of base symbol.

I use the term BaseSymbol and identify each by ID.  (cat-group-base-variation)  The first BaseSymbol is 01-01-001-01.  Section 5 of of "Modern SignWriting" describes the ISWA 2010 symbol set as a "mathematical alphabet".

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does it represent NO rotation and orientation? (because actually it is
marked for rotation and orientation).

Based on the visual appearance, the base symbol does appear to have orientation and rotation.  However, the visual appearance of the base symbol is secondary.  The primary purpose of the base symbol is to organize up to 96 symbols.  Each symbol has an ID that includes 2 additional numbers, a 5th (fill or orientation) and a 6th (rotation).

The base symbol ID does not include the 5th or 6th numbers of the full symbol ID.  The base symbol is before rotations and orientations.  The base symbol organizes the symbols according to rotation and orientation.

The choice of visual appearance for base symbols is heuristic and pragmatic.  In the past, the hand base symbols all used the first orientation ( fill 1 ) as a white palms.  When a symbol group was viewed as a collection of base symbols, the details of the hand shapes were difficult to distinguish.  Except for the 10 hand symbol groups, the visual appearance for all base symbols was switched to the second orientation ( fill 2 ).

The 10 hand symbol groups: http://signbank.org/iswa/cat_1.html

Inside of hand symbol groups, you can see the first base symbol uses the first orientation ( fill 1 ) and all of the rest use the second orientation ( fill 2 ).  The choice is for readability.

If we understand the ISWA 2010 as an organized mathematical alphabet, we can change certain aspects of the ISWA 2010 for easily configured sub-sets or for more complex custom sub-sets.

Easy subsets will be available shortly.  You will be able to remove entire symbol groups or base symbols.  For any base symbol you will be able to remove entire orientations or rotations.  The organization will stay the same, but the choices will be more limited.

More complex custom sub-sets are possible.  In theory, you can choose a small number of hand shapes.  You can order them according to your preference rather than relying on the International Standard.  This will allow for customized sorting and will influence keyboarding.  I have a few ideas, but I haven't put anything into code yet.

In section 12.D ( Symbol Subsets ) of the Modern SignWriting specification:

"The ISWA is a huge set of symbols. There is no language that will use every symbol. As with reflected spelling statistics, a body of writing can be analyzed for the symbols that have been used. Reflected symbol statistics can provide a guide to the norms within a community. If the writer is offered a symbol subset rather than the entire ISWA, the symbol subset can become self reinforcing and aid in spelling normalization."