SignWriting List
February 14, 2011

Hello Honza and Charles!

Because Charles answered your question before, extensively, here on the SignWriting List, Honza, I didn't answer before because I thought that was enough - I guess you did not realize that Charles answered you before? - If you go into the SignWriting List Archives you can find his old answers on these web pages:

and also

and below, Charles has answered you once again...

THANK YOU, Charles, for your answers!

Now let me share with you what is happening with me on this subject. Over time, although Charles and my theories were definitely close before, and perhaps still are (smile) day, I sorted a dictionary of over 3000 signs by Sign-Symbols, and I printed the dictionary. And when I did that, I tested to see if it was easy to find signs, sorted by my first theory...and to my surprise, it was not so I revised my theory...

I found out that although we write Location early in the writing of a sign, because we need to give the sign an "anchor"...for example we write the Head Circle first because we need to know how to place the hand symbol in relationship to it, when we write...even though that is our "sequence of writing", when it comes to "looking up signs" in large dictionaries, the tendency "seemed to be" (and this does need more research) that it was easier to look-up by beginning handshapes and then movement/dynamics and then ending handshapes first, almost like a unit "Handshapes-Movement-Dynamics-Handshapes", and then LATER find the Location and Height of those "Handshapes-Movement-Dynamics-Handshapes" configurations - this was a change from my original theory that placed Location early in the sequence.

But this needs more testing...

I am writing a new manual now called Sutton's SignSpelling Guidelines 2011, which will discuss this new "Handshapes-Movement-Dynamics-Handshapes-Location" theory - I hope to have it ready this month, since the Unicode committee apparently wants to discuss this issue too... smile ....

Attached is the beginning of the manual, but please know this is not the new manual and I am writing right now...but it does show the "Handshapes-Movement-Dynamics-Handshapes-Location" theory, based on what I call "Syllables"... four Syllables: