|As I have stated
before, the placement of the thumb on more than 30 of the
handshapes seems arbitrary and confusing. I look at my
hand and it does not match the signwriting shape.
The thumb is on the wrong side from looking at it.
The drawings don't try to put the little finger on the
wrong side, why do you do that with the thumb? '
I'm supposed to teach this when my own students will
ask the same question. But teacher, if I lay my hand
down on the drawing, it doesn't match. Are my students
And on some of them the index finger which clearly
shifts sides of the palm is rigid as if I can't count
fingers and look at the edge of my palm and see which
side of an icon it ought to be on.
If I cannot look at my hand, and lay it down on the
icon and see which side is up or down, then the system
really needs to be looked at again. When this system was
created, we did not debate it. We taught "look at your
hand" and "write what you see". That is not here now.
Black and white are palm facings and fingers must be
on the side they actually are on, not one shape, without
rotation for the same hand. The hand mirrors, why not
the icon? I want an answer that makes actual literal
sense. Show me how my thumb does not move?
The C hand in particular makes no sense. The same
icon for both the front and the back of the same hand
when the thumb clearly moves is truly odd. How can a
mirror image NOT be a mirror image?
The rule of "point to the center" when the thumb just
isn't there is not what I learned when the system was
created, and now ALL of those old drawings, including a
lot of what I edited in Brazil are wrong? I don't think
It is a triumph to get all of the icons in a graphic
volume, but there is clearly something odd going on
--- On Mon, 9/5/11, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]>
From: Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: NEW: SignWriting Hand Symbols Manual
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, September 5, 2011, 9:03 AM
September 5, 2011
On Sep 4, 2011, at 6:33 PM, Alan Post
Yay! I've been waiting for this. My
order is placed! -Alan
Thank you for our first order for our new book,
Adam Frost and I worked on this book for
several years. The first four chapters were on the
web for download in the past year. But the book
was not finished until a week ago...
Finally we have photos and symbols of 6 palm
facings for all 261 hand symbols of the ISWA 2010
documented in a book...Thanks to Adam's patience
with taking photos of his own hands, and then
enlarging the symbols. I wrote the instruction
sections, but Adam provided the photos of himself
for the instruction sections. I did the book
layout and design, but without Adam's improved
graphics of the enlarged symbols we would not have
a book...so this was a true co-authorship....
Thank you, Adam, for your hard work.....I truly
enjoyed working with you on this big project...
And Alan...your copy will be in the postal mail
tomorrow - smile- -
On Sep 4, 2011, at 3:10 PM, Valerie Sutton
September 4, 2011
SignWriting Hand Symbols
Sutton and Adam Frost
The SignWriting Hand
Symbols Manual is a thick 300 page,
paperback, spiral bound book that
devotes a full page to each of the 261
hand symbols of the International
SignWriting Alphabet (ISWA 2010), used
to write over 40 sign languages.
Each page shows one handshape with 6
photos showing 6 different palm facings.
The corresponding SignWriting symbol is
placed next to each photo. Additional
SignWriting instruction is included in
the front and the back of the book.
Useful for beginning and advanced
SignWriting students, sign language
linguists, teachers and researchers.
for download online:
for purchase online: