I have heard the same thing about "lazy signers" in LIBRAS. Hard to identify essential handshapes with "lazy signers" for a flat hand and a flat hand with thumb. I am compiling a dictionary and the linguists have begun to argue. The fact that they are arguing is a good sign because it shows that they understand the importance of the work. Exploration has shown two handshapes not currently in the system that are in LIBRAS. One can be created with a graphic combination, the other cannot at present.

This is an iconic sign of a mountain peak in southern Brazil and the fingers are actually tighter.

The other is a spread version of the thumb with arc.

This is the closed version used for a name sign for Dilma Rousseff (the president of Brazil.
This I used for the open version but the thumb is actually forward like the arc in Dilma. Madson uses a new handshape which is the Dilma sign with the fingers spread.

Charles Butler
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Clear writing moves business forward.

--- On Mon, 4/22/13, Cherie Wren <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Cherie Wren <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Handshapes used in ASL
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, April 22, 2013, 6:03 AM

third group, 9th sign-- the R with thumb extended--  I have been racking my brain trying to find a sign that uses that.  Then I though, Duh... and did a symbol search in the American signpuddle, found all of one match, and that was a name sign.  How do you evaluate whether that is truly necessary?  Many people are "thumb signers" ---meaning they lazily leave the thumb sticking out even when it is not part of the sign/handshape.  There are "pinky signers" too. 

This is just my first read thru, and looked mostly at what is NOT a regular ASL handshape.  That is the only one I questioned at all.  I'll give it some more study to see if there is anything missing from the list...  that is harder!  Did you look at Stokoe's work to see what handshapes he included as required in ASL?


From: Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2013 10:27 PM
Subject: Handshapes used in ASL

I have been looking at the Symbol Frequency in SignPuddle to see what handshapes would truly be necessary in ASL. What I did was I added symbols with high frequency automatically and then looked at the handshapes that had a low number to judge if the signs written could be written with or with a different symbol from my personal experience. Below is the list that I have come up with. I was quite amazed that there were only 83. Are there any handshapes that you feel I might have errorously ignored or overzealously added?