SignWriting List
November 15, 2011

Hello Ingvild -

No worries. These are very detailed questions and the truth is, for everyday writing, usually the simplest solution is best for the reader. So your original writing is fine, as others have also stated.

It sounds like to me you are doing a little bit of traveling in the sign, so your original writing was perfect with tiny arrows to the side. My understanding is that if your two hands start with the palms to the tabletop, then the baby fingers stay on the table top, while the thumb rotates over and to the outside, so when you complete the movement the hands are farther apart from each other…the baby fingers remained on the table the whole time…if this is true then your original writing is perfect because there is some traveling happening...

I was just explaining why the Rotation Symbols were developed in the first place. When we have a traveling movement, the Rotation Symbols are usually not needed at all because you can write the beginning position and the ending position to show the change in palm facing and the change in handshape.

But if your two hands were on the table, and your arm twists in a rotation, and there is no traveling - imagine the palms of the hands touching the table close to each other side by side, and then when the rotation occurs the hands flip over, but they are still close to each other and side by side, with no space between them in the beginning and ending positions - zero traveling- then we could use a Rotation Symbol.

And even in the latter case, there are ways to avoid using a Rotation Symbol. Sometimes I write the first position on the top and the second position on the bottom to show this, avoiding the Rotation Symbols. The Rotation Symbols can be hard for people and there is no reason to add more complexity - See attached diagram for the sign for read a book in ASL:

On Nov 15, 2011, at 1:33 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:

Hi Val and all,

thanks for this dicussion. I felt suddenly at loss - even in spelling my ordinary Norwegian (spoken) language I do that sometimes ...

With your writing, we could read this as rotations around the axes on the side of the little finger, which is what they do in the sign. We could also read this sign as you say - no sideward movemnet. Then the hands would just turn upside donw and land in the same place as before.

Imagine the hands are laying on a tabletop. They stay in touch with that tabletop on the side of the little finger throuout the sign (a bit difficult to do with the beginning handshape - try changing that to flat hand - like opening a double window on a christmas calendar. 

Discussing this is a good thing - onne gets to think things through. Actually, I beleive the sign is very readable both in your writing and in mine - thanks


Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 12:36:34 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: flipping and moving - what symbol
To: [log in to unmask]

SignWriting List
November 14, 2011

Well, the way you wrote it, there is a tiny bit of traveling happening because you wrote traveling arrows…If you want it to be completely in place with zero travel to the right and left, then you would use a Rotation Symbol without an arrow, that means staying in one place while you rotate…that is why we developed the Rotation Symbols to begin with…because we did not always want to travel, and if we stayed in one place, we needed to know which handshape happened first and which one second, without using a traveling arrow - so that is why the Rotation Symbols were developed - Here is an example of staying in one place with no travel side:


On Nov 14, 2011, at 11:06 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:

Thanks - I did look for the travel-with-rotation symbol , but writing both posistions would be enough, it seems. Sorry I did send two signs - the questen was about the one on the right. The first one means 'equal', the second one 'equation'. The hands flip/ rotate with the little finger side as axis - no separate travel, just the one that results from this 180 degree rotation. Agree this is enough - just had to make sure - this is part of a paper I just wrote for a terminology journal ...


Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 19:54:47 +0100
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: AW: flipping and moving - what symbol
To: [log in to unmask]

I agree – I can read the sign perfectly!


Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Montag, 14. November 2011 19:38
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: flipping and moving - what symbol


SignWriting List
November 14, 2011


Hello Ingvild and everyone -


Thanks for this question...


What you have written below tells me the following:


1. the two hands start contacting each other, with the index finger on a fist, palms parallel and facing the floor
2. then the two hands move to the side, the right to the right side and the left to the left side
3. at the end of the movement side, the handshapes have become flat hands parallel to the floor with the palms up, and the thumbs are out to the side


if I have read this correctly, then I don't think any other symbol is necessary -


You could write a Rotation Symbol, but Rotation Symbols do not travel to the side - they stay in one place - there are Rotation arrows combined with straight arrows in the ISWA 2010, but they are advanced symbols and I don't think any Rotation Symbol is necessary if I read it correctly above…


Val ;-)





On Nov 14, 2011, at 9:00 AM, Ingvild Roald wrote:

The hands move posistion as the flip - what would be the right sybol?




Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
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