SignWriting List
December 29, 2012

Hello Dali, and Steve and Dianne, and Adam -

First, I would like to thank you, Dali, for your previous emails about your SignWriting students in Tunisia. The writing of the exams was truly beautiful and I am so impressed and happy with your work. Congratulations on teaching at a university...

And second, hello Steve and Dianne - and happy holidays - I too wish to thank you, for your beautiful textbooks that are so well illustrated and a blessing for SignWriting…I have placed all your books on the SignWriting web sites for download because I am very proud of the books…Your books have really helped teach SignWriting around the world…I cannot imagine SignWriting without your work…

Regarding Dali's question about Surface Symbols…I believe you called them "Position Symbols" but in my world they are called Surface Symbols. Position Symbols are "other symbols" in our system that are not used much…someday we can discuss what a Position Symbol is…The symbols Dali is referring to, should be called "Surface Symbols" because they are referring to contact on a surface…under, over, in front of or in back of a surface, relating to real contact on that surface...

I didn't realize the Surface Symbols were incorrectly explained in the book, until recently, when Madson Barreto from Brazil pointed it out to me - Here in the US it is very rare that we use them now…but on the other hand, it is important that they are explained correctly -

The only two places I have ever explained Surface Symbols are on the web, in the eLessons section, and in an old DanceWriting textbook called "DanceWriting for Modern and Jazz Dance" from 1978, so I can understand why there might be confusion - They have not been taught enough in my own textbooks…so you can put the blame on me for the misunderstandings…

Meanwhile Dali, I do appreciate the question...

I asked Adam Frost to create a video that teaches all Contact Symbols, and at the end of the video, you will find a detailed explanation of Surface Symbols…

So please teach Surface Symbols based on these two web pages and based on these new videos by Adam Frost listed below:

E-LESSON Question 0012: When should I write Surface Symbols?

E-LESSON Question 0052: I do not understand Surface Symbols:

VIDEO: SignWriting Contact Symbols
Long video that teaches all Contact Symbols including Surface Symbols at the end:

CONTACT SYMBOL VIDEO PLAYLIST (shorter videos one for each Contact Symbol)

VIDEO: Surface Symbols Floor Plane

VIDEO: Surface Symbols Wall Plane


The rest of your questions I will answer tomorrow…It is evening here…Tomorrow is another day!

So look for my answer tomorrow -

Thank you again to all of you -

Val ;-)


On Dec 29, 2012, at 6:59 PM, Dali balti wrote:

> Hello Everyone!!!
> I have a small question, it is related to the position symbols!
> Actually I am translating the SW guide written by Parkhurst, and I do thank them for this great book!!!
> I noticed many problems when translating this book into arabic for my students in Tunisia:
> 1-/ I came accross many signs which no longer exist on the signpuddle.
> 2-/ Adam Frost's book about handshapes is the most up-dated book which helped me understand the changes which were made.
> 3-/ In Parkhurst book, I had to change many handshapes, and this book is not up-dated.
> 4-/ I am adding Tunisian signs instead of American signs so that my students might understand better.
> 5-/ Position symbols in Parkhurst SW guide are telling exactly the opposite of what was answered by Vaerie sutton in the question number 0052 relating to the surface Symbols dating from 5th March 2000 
> Please help me choose, which one is correct??? Valerie's or Parkhurst's??? I think I have to change what I learnt before about these position or surface symbols and to correct my whole Tunisian signpuddle!!!!
> Blessings and many thanks!!!
> Dali - Tunisia