Hi Steve, 

I liked to read your text and agree ... 

What comes to my mind is that for what reason ever Valerie and Richard
Gleaves probably did some brainstorming regarding the width and height of
all the symbols of the first symbol set. At that time there had been
limitations due to the possibilities of the DOS pixel graphic representation
in the good old SignWriter DOS programm... 

When I started to learn and to dive into SignWriting I took the chance to
compare all the different symbols - length of fingers, seize of head circle

So I learned that two fists just match the height of a flathand. The
flathand can be written into the head circle - the index finger is as long
as a fist -square ..... 

I think it would make sense to mention that behind these proportions between
the single symbols in their visual appearance is a well calculated genius
idea. Looking at the signs written with SignWriter DOS or SignPuddle the
whole "pictogram" looks so well balanced. And this is what I never miss to
point out to new students of GebärdenSchrift - Writing by hand  becomes much
more easy if you develop a map of these proportions ... 

Just my idea ... 

Stefan ;-) 

PS - did you say that in the near future you would be able to use vector
based symbols?? for SignPuddle documents? 

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Steve Slevinski
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 7. Oktober 2010 12:57
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: The graphemes of SignWriting

  Hi List,

While preparing a document for publication, I wrote an introductory 
sentence about the graphemes of SignWriting.  Any feedback would be 

1.1.1.  Grapheme

    The grapheme is the fundamental unit of writing for the SignWriting
    script.  The graphemes of SignWriting are visually iconic.  Each
    grapheme has a defined size and shape.  The main writing graphemes of
    SignWriting represent a visual conception: either hands, movement,
    dynamics, timing, head, face, or body.  These graphemes are used in

    Detailed location graphemes are separate from writing graphemes.
    Detailed location graphemes are used individually or sequentially.
    They represent isolated analysis that is written outside the cluster.

    Punctuation graphemes are used when writing sentences.  They are used
    individually, outside of a cluster.

    When written by hand, lines are drawn to form each grapheme.
    Different styles draw different types of lines: either for personal
    taste, speed, or quality.

    When written with computers, the graphemes have two aspects.  The
    first is the line that defines the shape of the grapheme.  The second
    aspect is the fill that is used when graphemes overlap.  The official
    standard size and shape for each grapheme is defined with a 2
    dimensional pixel map of line and fill.  Vector based refinements
    have been completed for all hand shapes but still need to be converted.

    Each grapheme in SignWriting has two centers: absolute and artistic.
    The absolute center of the grapheme is based on the width and height
    of the grapheme.  The artistic center of a grapheme is context
    dependent.  For a hand shape grapheme, the artistic center is the
    center of the palm.

Thanks for reading,