Hi Val and sw-list friends,


I followed your explanation about the “M” symbol. Well I agree and almost ever write the M the way you showed to us.


There is another thing I would like to mention. Regarding finger direction and your idea about "Finger Direction is Meaningful:”


I guess it may become a question of habit and style.


Personally I feel uncomfortable with these hand shapes on the diagonal – and for me it is not easier to read – just in contrary.


One reason may be that I concentrate on the palm rather on the fingers ???  But I have to admit that there are signs that obviously violate my intuitive style of  spelling but nevertheless ... I grew up with these signs written the given way and my brain got accustomed to that and now I simply accept them as they are –


Look at the typical way we write the “What”- sign  -- it is easy to read and nothing seems wrong, but if you look at your hands while performing the sign without any force they are much more inward than outward. This is interesting.


Nevertheless it is fun to discuss spellings –


I am preparing some documents to get feedback from my deaf students about horizontal versus vertical writing. You know that at school I ask my students to write the translation directly beneath the signwriting line. So it makes sense to write from left to write. But if it comes down just to rad a story it may be a difference .. I am interested to get more insight ...



Stefan ;-)








Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 2. Dezember 2010 03:50
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Finger Direction is Meaningful


SignWriting List

December 1, 2010


Regarding finger direction -


Finger direction is meaningful - and there are times when it is useful to write a handshape a little on the diagonal, so you can see the fingers projecting down.


Sometimes signs can be flexible. They can be understood with the same meaning, whether they are exactly projecting forward, or directed toward the diagonal. In these cases, if the diagonal position is just as acceptable, and the fingers look more like they are pointing in the proper direction, then the symbol can be written on the diagonal or to the side and it is easier to read.


In the new book that Adam Frost and I are writing, we have a page at the end of each chapter called "Finger Direction is Meaningful:


SignWriting Hand Symbols Manual



Here is a sample page: