Exactly, working with symbols from each signed language so that the examples were strictly those shapes actually used in Brazilian Sign Language and Amharic Sign Language respectively. I will send you the shapes on the other computer. 
Charles Butler
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Clear writing moves business forward.

From: MARIA GALEA <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:49 PM
Subject: Re: An alphabet for a specific sign language from the ISWA 2010

Thank you Charles -
intersting! do you remember the two specific handshapes that were not used
respectively in the different langauges? i will give credit to you for
this finding of course, if you do rem. them, if not I might mention this
example by you, without giving further details.

also by any chance do you have the link to the work 'SignWriting for
Everyday Use'? so when you say you were helping to edit them in Portugese
and Amharic, you mean in the spoken languages right? so a translation of
SignWriting for Everyday Use in those languages - where they changed
examples of signwritten signs to include the symbols of their languages
and removed examples that did not have symbols that represented the
symbols of their sign langauges? just making sure I understood..

thanks for your feedback charles

> In helping to edit Sign Writing for Everyday Use in both Portuguese and
> Amharic, we were challenged in using examples from the languages we were
> creating textbooks to ensure that the handshapes we used were only those
> actually used in the language. I remember finding one handshape that was
> used often in ASL but had not been included in the LIBRAS textbook, and
> one handshape that was used in one sign in LIBRAS that was not directly
> cited in ASL so that this discussion certainly brings back memories. 
> Charles Butler
> [log in to unmask]
> 240-764-5748
> Clear writing moves business forward.
> ________________________________
>  From: Claudia S. Bianchini <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 3:59 AM
> Subject: Re: An alphabet for a specific sign language from the ISWA 2010
> Hello Maria and all,
> you can find the LIS (italian SL) "alphabet" (I dislike this word to speak
> about SW, but... who cares now :-P ) in the SW Italian manual: it's free
> to download in the "download" section of www.visel.cnr.it
> The adjustement are only for configurations and it was done with
> ISWA2004... but it can give you some ideas. But take on vount that it's a
> selection based on the "feelings" of SW users and is done just for writing
> usage (not for transcribing). In my thesis I demostrate that their
> "feelings" sometimes don't correspond to their real usage of
> configurations.
> Claudia
> PS: I'll discuss (in french) my thesis on SW the 18th of september 2012 in
> Paris... if someone is interested.
> 2012/7/30 Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]>
> I completely agree with you on a smaller symbol set. I thought we were
> done with the work in Brazil, but Fernando Capovilla has been able to
> greatly expand and focus the work so that Brazil may be able to have a
> defined symbol set soon. 
>>Charles Butler
>>[log in to unmask]
>>Clear writing moves business forward.
>>From: MARIA GALEA <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:59 PM
>>Subject: Re: An alphabet for a specific sign language from the ISWA 2010
>>Thank you Adam for your feedback. Your comment on the benefit of having a
>>smaller symbol-set (an alphabet) for specific languages is very much
>>appreciated, and I will include your comment and refer to you (if you
>> give
>>me permission).
>>Any feedback is appreciated at this stage, because so little has been
>>written about the subject of specific alphabets. Additionally being who
>>you are, a Deaf person/ASL user and surely one of the most highly skilled
>>SignWriters - your comment is invaluable! Thank you!
>>> As far as I know, there hasn't been much, if any, on the type of work
>>> you
>>> are asking about. I think it is because there are still so many things
>>> that haven't been written in every sign language that it is still hard
>>> to
>>> say that these symbols will never be used in a given sign language.
>>> However, the information that you have found means that you can focus
>>> on
>>> teaching people
>  those symbols first rather than going through all in
>>> order. Hopefully we will get to that point with more sign languages.
>>> Adam
>>> On Jul 29, 2012, at 2:10 PM, "MARIA GALEA" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Once again thank you Charles and Val for your feedback!
>>>> I understand that the symbol frequency is a good way to find out
>>>> symbols
>>>> used to write a specific language - and it can be done - it's a
>>>> wonderful
>>>> tool in Puddle (thank you Steve!) and I have used it very recently to
>>>> analyze the Maltese Sign Language alphabet. However it's not the
>>>> intention
>>>> of the work to figure out other languages alphabets etc. What I need
>>>> to
>>>> know is whether this work has been carried out by other researchers
>  or
>>>> teachers.
>>>> I am fully aware (as i have taught SignWriting this way in the past
>>>> also)
>>>> that the ISWA 2010 can be used as it is to write any sign language -
>>>> and
>>>> so it's natural that the process of identifying the alphabet of a
>>>> language
>>>> may be bypassed. That is, you can still teach the writing of a
>>>> specific
>>>> language WITHOUT having yet discovered the alphabet, because ALL
>>>> symbols
>>>> of any alphabet are there and ready in the ISWA 2010.
>>>> However just to summarize one small finding from my work - for Maltese
>>>> Sign Language, 268 base symbols are used from the ISWA's 652. On
>>>> further
>>>> analysis the number may be reduced to 248 symbol.
>>>> So Maltese Sign Language has an alphabet of 248 symbols - now once
>>>> this
>>>> work is completed - future manuals for the writing of Maltese
>  sign
>>>> language need not cover the 403 base symbols that are NOT used, are
>>>> NOT
>>>> part of this specific language. See the point I'm after? There may be
>>>> benefits from having the alphabet set.
>>>> This is one very thin slice of the work, there is a long way to go...
>>>> maria
>>>>> SignWriting List
>>>>> July 28, 2012
>>>>> Hi Maria and Charles -
>>>>> Yes, Charles is correct. Using the Symbol Frequency feature in
>>>>> SignPuddle
>>>>> Online is an excellent way to find all of the symbols used to write
>>>>> the
>>>>> signs in that specific database. For example, imagine you are
>>>>> searching
>>>>> for all of the handshapes used in American Sign Language.
>>>>> 1. Go to the ASL SignPuddle
>  dictionary:
>>>>> ASL SignPuddle Dictionary
>>>>> http://www.signbank.org/signpuddle2.0/index.php?ui=1&sgn=4
>>>>> 2. Click on Symbol Frequency.
>>>>> 3. Click on the Hands category.
>>>>> 4. Click on the SymbolGroup you want.
>>>>> 5. Notice in that group, which symbols have numbers under them, and
>>>>> which
>>>>> ones are grey?
>>>>> 6. The grey symbols are symbols not used in writing ASL signs in the
>>>>> ASL
>>>>> dictionary puddle.
>>>>> 7. The numbers under the symbols shows how many times that symbol was
>>>>> used
>>>>> to write signs in this database´┐Ż
>>>>> See attached -
>  -------
>>>>> On Jul 27, 2012, at 10:38 PM, Charles Butler wrote:
>>>>>> The fastest way to do that is to look at "symbol frequency" in any
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> the SignPuddles. This would give you the current research on the
>>>>>> minimal
>>>>>> pairs of a language. For example, one of the earlier publications of
>>>>>> LIBRAS had determined a certain number of handshapes (around 96),
>>>>>> then
>>>>>> people began putting in the variants from Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> Rio Grande de Sul and the number expanded. Each day we've gotten a
>>>>>> few
>>>>>> more handshapes. When I was there in 2000, there were two
>>>>>> handshapes,
>>>>>> for example, using the ring finger and the thumb in contact, "droga"
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> "noiva", which
>  depend on where the thumb is placed.
>>>>>> Charles Butler
>>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>>> 240-764-5748
>>>>>> Clear writing moves business forward.
>>>>>> From: MARIA GALEA <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>> Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 11:34 PM
>>>>>> Subject: An alphabet for a specific sign language from the ISWA 2010
>>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>> Me again with one more question..
>>>>>> Has anyone out
>  there studied the alphabet of his/her sign language-
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> is  has anyone derived a smaller amount of symbols from the ISWA
>>>>>> 2010,
>>>>>> as
>>>>>> the significant symbols (an alphabet) for writing a specific
>>>>>> language
>>>>>> e.g.
>>>>>> ASL, BSL, Norwegian Sign Language, German sign language etc?
>>>>>> If you know of any such work could you direct me to it please.
>>>>>> If you have carried it out would love to include and refer to your
>>>>>> work
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> my dissertation.
>>>>>> Once again I truly appreciate ANY feedback whatsoever,
>>>>>> Thanks
>>>>>> Maria
>  -----
>>>>> 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
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>>>>> Join, Leave or Change How You Receive SW List Messages
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>>>>> SignWriting
>>>>> Read & Write Sign Languages
>>>>> http://www.SignWriting.org
>>>>> SignPuddle Online
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>>>>> Documents, Dictionaries, SignMail
>>>>> http://www.signbank.org/signpuddle
>>>>> SignWriting Wiki
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>>>>> http://www.SignWriting.org/forums/swlist
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>>>>> http://www.SignWriting.org/literature
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>>>>> http://www.SignWriting.org/encyclopedia
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> --
> Claudia S. Bianchini
> PhD Student @ Univ. Paris8 + CNRS-UMR7023-SFL
> PhD Student @ Univ. Studi di Perugia + CNR-ISTC-SLDS
> [log in to unmask]