ISWA 2010

International SignWriting Alphabet

HTML Reference

Writing symbols

Used in 2-dimensional clusters to write signs.

Category 1: Hands

Handshapes from over 40 Sign Languages are placed in 10 groups based on the numbers 1-10 in American Sign Language.

Category 2: Movement

Contact symbols, small finger movements, straight arrows, curved arrows and circles are placed into 10 groups based on planes: The Front Wall Plane includes movement that is "parallel to the front wall" and the Floor Plane includes movement that is "parallel to the floor".

Category 3: Dynamics

Dynamics Symbols are used to give the "feeling" or "tempo" to movement. They provide emphasis on a movement or expression, and combined with Punctuation Symbols become the equivalent to Exclamation Points. The Tension Symbol, combined with Contact Symbols, provides the feeling of "pressure", and combined with facial expressions can place emphasis or added feeling to an expression. Timing symbols are used to show alternating or simultaneous movement.

Category 4: Head & Faces

Starting with the head and then from the top of the face and moving down.

Category 5: Body

Torso movement, shoulders, hips, and the limbs are used in Sign Languages as a part of grammar, especially when describing conversations between people, called Role Shifting, or making spatial comparisons between items on the left and items on the right.

Detailed Location symbols

Used in ordered lists as annotation outside of the written cluster. Not used for everyday writing.

Category 6: Detailed Location

Detailed Location symbols used in the SignSpelling Sequence may be useful for sorting large dictionaries, refining animation, simplifying translation between scripts and notation systems, and for detailed analysis of location sometimes needed in linguistic research.

Punctuation symbols

Always used alone

Category 7: Punctuation

Punctuation Symbols are used when writing complete sentences or documents in SignWriting.

ISWA 2010 symbols
designed by Valerie Sutton

Symbol Lessons Online
SymbolBank Archive

Hand photos by Adam Frost
ISWA 2010 HTML Reference
Copyright 2007-2012
Stephen E Slevinski Jr.

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January 12th, 2012