Yes, I agree with your opinion. This is a key in programming. For writing, we can always walk around this issue by replace the third plane with other two planes, however, in the programming, this may be a inevitable. For example, if a user is making a sign of 'Fly', where the hand begins from the middle of his chest and ends at the position which is at the level of his head diagonally,the system could only translate this sign into floor plane or wall plane, but neither of them is an accurate description.
Thanks for the reply. Accurately, I never knew there is a 'Symbol Frequency' feature in the SignPuddel, that's fantastic! Yes, I can see albeit the diagonal is rarely used, it indeed describes a movement in the diagonal plane more plainly than the old way did which was a combination of the wall and floor plane.
I should therefore mention the diagonal plane in the dissertation and states its importance.
Many Thanks for all your help!
>>> "Charles Butler" 05/11/10 12:00 PM >>>
I think you have hit the difference between a computer program and a linguistic study choice and actual sign.
Citation forms can be chosen to avoid the diagonal planes, but if you are transcribing from actual people signing, their hands and motions will be all over the place. If they are in conversation and are telling a story about someone up in a tree, writing precisely will show them moving their hands in diagonals from you on the ground to your brother in the tree. Throwing a ball in front of you, your hands end diagonal to the plane. You can show it from the side to avoid the diagonal, but that becomes writing style, not real life.
I think for a program you can choose not to show the third plane, but just know that you have done so. Technically, the sign for elephant or any other sign moving up and over or down and under is using the diagonal plane.
Here are 3 ways of writing FLY (aeroplane. flying by aeroplane) in Norwegian SL. The first one where only the wall plane is used, is good enough for ordinary use. The other two are for more special purposes, when you have to tell in which direction a plane is flying
(you may also look at the statics in 'serch by symbol' in the Norwegian Sign Puddle - the diagonal is hardly used, as you will see)