Hello Eduardo and sw-friends,


I agree with ...


At first glance it might look as if it could be a simplification to not write the contact symbol.


On the other hand – if you write a sign without the contact star –  you as the scribe would probably have no problem...

This is not the case for the reader. He will hesitate .. he has do make a decision – “contact”  vs. “just close together”


Just like Eduarda describes perfectly I would not follow this method. I am writing Signwriting – documents now for mre than a decade. I would not want to write a sign without the star if I want to inform the reader that this sign is performed with contact.  


But it is as Valerie points out every two months – feel free to write as you want and time will teach us ... smile




All best




Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Eduardo Trápani
Gesendet: Sonntag, 11. August 2013 01:11
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Evolution to Simplified SignWriting


We remove touch star on all signs that have just one contact

and hands are already close enough to show that they are in contact,

include our logo for Libras Escrita.


See below:


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First of all, I'm just a beginner.  I find this "simplification" a bit confusing, I wouldn't know how to do the sign on the right if I had read it alone. I mean, is it *that* obvious for everybody that the hands are so close that they touch?

See for example the beginning of ASL for "get (receive)":

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Or the one for "sign":

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The hands are more or less at the same distance as in the Libras Escrita logo, but they do not touch. So "close enough" is not a clear enough rule in SW (and that is not an issue if we don't expect to be able to exchange and study texts from other sign languages).

I think that in signs where hands touch but they are not right by each other, the star should not be removed.

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For somebody that does not know the sign, it might be hard to decide if they do or do not touch.

I didn't know about this simplified SignWriting. For movement it's ok, but I would try to avoid removing the star unless it is completely obvious.

And, should the star be removed, I would write the hands so that they actually touch (no space between them):

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Otherwise, for the sake of simplification, the system adds a complexity, with a not-so-clear rule (if hands in "libras escrita" touch so could the hands in the ASL signs above), and it does no longer mirror the signs so well. *The* beauty of SW is that you can look at it and read it (even if you don't know the sign language involved or the sign itself).

I think that, removing the star without clear rules, makes SignWriting evolve into a sort of abjad (consonantal alphabet) where the reader has to provide the missing bits (in Arabic, the vowels). Meaning also that the reader has to know the language pretty well. Reading dictionary entries from other languages will be harder. It is evolution, but I don't know if it makes things simpler, it surely does not for beginners like me. And we really need a simple *and* coherent system for real adoption. I guess we've all had our share of writing systems with rules that do not always apply, systems where it's not enough to be native, you have to stop and think before you write.

For other type of texts it might be safe to assume the reader is fluent in the language and will know how to read it but for teaching and learning ... I'd really think twice before globally removing single stars in "close enough" configurations, or asking students to do it.