The Multi-method System (2) The hand signs and other methods

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The features
The system of the EL hand signs
The additional capability of using the EL signs
Various expression ways of EL greeting symbol
Other applicable methods: Body movements/ Running/ Drawing on palm/ Eye-movements

The features

Present hand signs are mainly made for deaf people;
and general people usually don’t know sign languages.
Also most sign languages are based on each speaking language,
so the world of a deaf person’s communication is very narrow,
and they are apt to feel like a burden in the society.

The EL signs helps not only deaf people’s communications,
but also general people’s global communications and to send messages
without sounds and records among a family and friends.

The EL hand-sign is equivalent to each written base.
Instead of writing form, symbols are shown by hands to send a message.
When your speaking language doesn’t work with others in front of you,
you show them EL signs following to your native speech.
Others understand what your speak through the signs,
even if they are not familiar with your language at all.

When signing EL mixing with some mimicry/gestures and nonverbal expressions,
the readers must enjoy your expressions more than just listening to a speech.
It might be a communication method to harmonize the world.

For serious speeches and lectures, you can show that written EL form
on a screen or prepare the leaflet, while you make your native speech.

To make this possible, the following items are considered.
  1. Less memory to use EL signs after learning the writing system.
  2. To have the possibility of hand sign expressions having as many details as an EL writing.
  3. Close to the traditional natural signs as much as possible.

The system of the EL hand-signs

Usually ordinary signs are shown by combinations of shape, position and movement of hand/hands.
But EL signs are a little different from this way.
You can see the concrete idea of the sign for each base in the EL dictionary.

To set up the system, I made the following rules and ideas.

# Two types of signs:
Each general base (01-70) has the following two different types of signs.

1) Hand-shape-sign
Forming a base shape or a shape that naturally recalls the meaning of a base with a hand,
basically in front of the shoulder. When showing only a base, use this way.

2) Hand-movement-sign or hand-position-sign
In another way, each base has a movement sign or a position sign of the hand;
this way is for showing a base-overlay.
Moving another base signed hand as drawing a base shape in the air makes a movement sign.
Some bases have a position sign bringing the other signed hand to a specific position.
The small bases that are difficult to show by a movement such as a dot and a period are taken in this way.
Also when a position works well as a natural sign for the meaning, the base takes that position sign, too.

The base (nature) is represented by ( the upper half sphere shaped hand or the movement of drawing n).
The base (water) is shown by   (the dripping water shaped hand, or the movement of drawing i).
Then the base overlay (rain) is represented by drawing shape with the dripping water hand.
Don't you feel like rain with this sign?

The sign of (I/my/me) is to make a pointing back thumb for (back) at the center of the chest (the position sign of  ), looking like pointing at oneself. Also the sign of (you/your) is pointing forward with the thumb for (front) at the center of the chest, looking like pointing at “you.”

By this way, a two-elements-character using only one hand is available. If you use both hands, a four-elements-character at once can be shown, and if it contains a position-sign, even a five-elements-character at once is not impossible.

One may think it's too difficult to perform and read, but distinguishing combinations of alphabets are done immediately to get the proper images. There is not much difference for the difficulty between these ways. One just needs to be used to them.

# Directions and pronouns

Signs for bases related to a direction are especially prepared to match to the natural gesture.
Pronouns are also, even if they are base overlays: I, you, that and this were set to be easily recognized
from the total signs of the hand shape and position.

The front and the back
Written symbols can't show three dimensions, so a concept relating to the front and the back is represented as a shape of heading up and down, or forward and backward of writing. But a hand-sign can show the correct direction in the three dimensions. Then sometimes a sign angle is not the same as the original written angle.

The right/east and the left/west
It is hard to recognize these directions in signs, because usually the performer’s right is the reader's left.
So in EL, whichever hand you use, always the sign (20: pointing out by the thumb) works
in the same way as its written ideogram, even for representing the right/east directions.
The inward sign (19: pointing inward by the thumb) works as well for the left/west,
without minding the real direction.
If you want to point out the actual direction, use an entire body gesture with the facial expression
so as not to confuse with hand signs.

# Signs for additional bases for numerals and functions

Each numeral (n2 ... n9), grammar notation (ga ... gf) and bracket (pl ... rr) has
only one way for the hand sign; some of them are combined shapes and movements or positions.
So it's easy to recognize them and to get the structure of the sentence.
In a grammatical character, show the grammatical mark first for easy recognition.

The traditional signs for numerals are different, even between British and American, but the basic idea is about the same, as counting the standing/folding fingers. So EL numerals are also. But in its own way so as not to confuse with other EL bases signs:

Show the back of the hand to the reader for signing all 1-9 numerals except (69: zero), and count the standing finger from index to the next for 1-4; the standing thumb is counted as 5, and add standing fingers starting from the pinkie to the next with the thumb 5 for 6-9.
These pictures are in the EL dictionary.

The bond-sign/Hyphen gf:

In a sign conversation, one cannot always use both hands. To sign a complicated character with one hand, signing needs more “bond” than the regular writing.
The sign (hyphen: four fingers are wrapping the thumb to make a fist) works for the bond function, representing that the former sign and the next sign are in one base overlay.
Readers combine the images in their imagination.

# Sequence and punctuation

The sequence of elements in a sentence:
The EL grammar was originally set considering for signing convenience. Just show the signs following the sequence of usual talking, but don’t forget putting proper grammar signs at each necessary position. The reader understands the flowing of the meanings following the grammar signs.

The sequence of subject, verb and object in a sentence is free, but when modifiers are numerous, showing the main matter first would be kind in a sign language.

If a performer and the reader get used to signs, perhaps they don't need a sign for punctuation,
because a pause can tell it just like in speaking. But for beginners, the rhythm of signing can't be natural; and it would be hard to know a pause if it's a punctuation or not.

In that situation or when needed to send the message correctly, this sign   (the horizontal fist) is used for showing an empty space or an interval in a sentence or between sentences.
It works the same as the vocal symbol [not ].

# Adding some mimicry/gestures

EL needs more concentrations for the logical and rational system compared to a native speaking, and so are EL signs. If a message is all by EL signs, the performer and the reader might not be relaxed.
Some vocabularies (for instance, related movements or a subject/person’s characteristics) might be easier by mimicry/gestures than by logical signs. Only gestures are not enough to send a sentence, but if combining them with grammatical signs and other signs, the performer and the readers both can have more fun in their conversations.

The additional capability of using the EL sign

When EL and the hand-signs are spread among the earth people, the following effects can be considered besides just sending messages directly to other language people.

  1. Keeping our own tradition
    Traditional speaking languages could be kept without being too much influenced by a second language.
  2. With fun
    People can find that it’s fun to use their entire body for performances; and the custom spreading might cheer up human societies.
  3. Recognition of different background
    While communicating in the EL way, both can recognize the differences of each other's speaking ways and the sequences of thinking. Knowing fundamental differences helps to understand each other better.
  4. Helping to hold memories
    The memories of EL and the system can be unforgettable even if people don't use them so often,
    because one recalls the memories relating to a variety of clues,
    and the memories of muscles of hand movements for signs help to remember the symbols.
    Also for learning EL the first time, it would be faster to memorize the multi-methods together
    than learning only the symbols.
  5. Benefit for deaf people
    When people start to use EL signs generally, deaf people on the earth have to learn only EL, to communicate freely with any EL users everywhere.
    Also EL is much easier for them to learn than any other vocal language. They would not be a linguistic minority anymore.
  6. Dances and entertainments
    EL hand/gesture signs could be used in a dance or a body art and entertainment, showing some story naturally without speech explanation, like old East Indian traditional dances. New creative body arts can be born, stimulated by the EL capability.

An Example of multi-method communication
Hello! [bo-n@-fee-n@-wa] or this sign
(The almighty greeting symbol in EL)

The symbol is used for the universal greetings in EL for any beginning or ending of a communication, such as Hello!, Good morning, Good afternoon,
Good night, and Good-bye.
Why? This character is formed by the combination of
the three bases shown below.

The content of [ ] is each base name, and the content of ( ) shows the meaning/image of each base:
: [ bo of boss] (balanced: the shape of a spinning top in a good balance),
: [ fee of feet] (continuation/kept long: the shape of an infinite line),
: [wa of watch] (circle/globe, in this case, the simplified symbol of the earth).
: the overlay of above three elements:
the direct meaning is "the sustainable globe turning around in good balance: world peace", and it is used for greeting among the earth people, hoping to keep the image in their relations.

When 'speaking' an EL base overlay, [n@] sound (@ as schwa with no stress accent) is put
as the bond between names of the element bases.
The pronunciation of the greeting character is [bo-n@-fee-n@-wa].

This picture is the greeting sign, making three bases signs at once using both hands.

When one sees a foreigner, both greets each other in their own native languages with this sign together.
After that they starts to communicate smoothly, recognizing differences with each other.
You can add whatever you like to the greeting, of course

Other applicable methods

At an emergency time, you need to exchange messages in a hurry. If one suddenly lost his vision and sound by accident, he must be very depressed, confused, and has no way to communicate with others now. If you and someone around you have had some EL basic knowledge, you can instantly use the symbols for the emergency situation, devising the method to fit to the usable sense.
So you might want to learn EL as communication insurance too, not only just for your daily conveniences.

Under various physical conditions, the following methods are considered to communicate in EL:

Whole body signs
Not everyone always has a cellular phone. For communicating over a horizontally far but visible distance, make each base shape using the whole body or draw bases shapes on the air, using some long stick.
Use the bond-symbol between elements in a base overlay.

*This way can be used for a creative dance or some body performances, sending messages by body movements, such as a dance for a poem without speaking language.
Here are some examples of Meditation Exercise using EL body signs. This way really works for keeping your body and spirit in healthy condition.

Running signs
For communicating over a vertically far but visible distance as from an isolated land to a helicopter above, or from the bottomland to the roof of a skyscraper, one can send some EL bases as the running tracks. Not every base can be drawn by one stroke, so distinguishing active running tracks from inactive tracks is needed. Showing the bottom line direction at first is needed as well.

Drawing bases on the other's palm

When the other can't either see or hear, this way can work as a communication method.
Even if the reader can see and hear, when needed to send a message to him quietly, this way would be useful too, as in the middle of a play in a theater.

EL eyeball signs
When one can't move anything except the eyes, it's possible to send a message by moving the eyeballs following a base shape. Imagining each large base shape on the ceiling, and look at it from one edge to the other edge
following the character line slowly and clearly, so the reader can follow the eyeball movement and read each base.
When making an inactive movement for symbols, close the eyes. Blink twice for the bond sign.

Raised print

Now blind people use raised dot notations (Braille), but since the raised printing method was developed, the notations need not to be only dots. The raised printed EL bases can be recognized by the sense of finger touch.
This way also needs the bond sign to show base overlays. The system would help their expression without much effort to learn, and ordinary people can read the same raised bases.

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