SignWriting List
February 24, 2011

Hello Charles, Stefan and everyone -

Thank you for your messages...

No one is using the ISWA 2010 yet...

Although the symbolset was completed in 2010, and although it has been documented on the web in the ISWA 2010 HTML Reference Manual, it has not been installed yet, into SignPuddle Online.

International SignWriting Alphabet 2010 (ISWA 2010)
HTML Reference Manual

The current symbolset in SignPuddle 1.5, which we are writing with, on the web, is the ISWA 2008...

SignPuddle Online

When SignPuddle 1.6, and SignWriter Studio, and SignBank 2011 are completed and on the web for us to use, then we will be using the ISWA 2010, which has many more handshapes than the current ISWA 2008.

I believe one of the handshapes you mentioned, Charles, will be in the new ISWA 2010, but the other one will have to be constructed, and there is nothing we can do about that - there will always be new handshapes that are not in the current symbolset, because there are probably close to 1000 possible positions of the human hand, if not more (I really mean that, if you write touching every finger on every side, with various combinations of fingers up or down it is a huge amount of handshapes)

So when we do start using the ISWA 2010, you will be working with 261 handshapes - which is more than in the current ISWA 2008. That will help.

Most sign languages use around 80 or 90 of those 261.

Val ;-)


On Feb 24, 2011, at 7:00 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

Hi Stefan,
It is in the EMA, and I am readily in touch with him. He put it in the SignPuddle to begin with. I am going through and fixing the ones that had been put in as compounds that are now single characters in IMWA 2010.
I refer to your chart all the time, but when handshapes are combinations of others with extra fingers, they may or may not be in the IMWA 2010.  To search for them in Frequency brings them up by the primary handshape but you can't find them as a freestanding handshape alone.
So if that handshape is going to rotate, it all has to be done by hand if you are producing it on computer.
I am editing Lessons In Sign Writing for an Ethiopian audience, so we are having to systematically go through every handshape, and ensure we put it in the right Group for teaching.


From: Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, February 24, 2011 9:36:58 AM
Subject: Re: Query on Handshape

Hi Charles, hello Eyasu ...


just curious. Do you know that Eyasu Tamene from the University of Addis Ababa/Ethiopia  worked so hard to create the EMA




Perhaps the hand shape you are looking for is part of the table?


Stefan ;-)




Von: SignWriting List : Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto: [log in to unmask] ] Im Auftrag von Charles Butler
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 24. 
Februar 2011 15:12
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Query on Handshape


In going through Ethiopian sign language, I found another handshape, this time a variant on the thumb (ASL T) with the index finger on the middle finger on top of the T.


I cannot find it in ISWA 10, and it is an essential part of the language.  Again, manipulation by computer will be difficult.



Here you go.