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How To Learn Sign Language

nasin kepeken pi tawa sitelen – Movement that Writes Tutorial (TS #2)


Hello! I’m going to teach you how to use Movement that Writes. In the system, arm, hand and leg movements are particularly important. Arm movements and hand shapes are used to “write” the 120 words of Toki Pona. There are nine hand shapes, as found in the Toki Pona sign language. But the words “li” and “e” are mapped differently. There are also these optional shapes: The thumb-fist is the same as the “closed fist”. The wiggling hand is the same as the “open hand”. One must use the hand shape that matches the word they wish to express. There are three categories or descriptors of the arm movements. The first descriptor has: Straight, circular, up+down, elbow pop, and cross through chest. The second descriptor for straight has: Side, chest, up, down. The second descriptor for circular has: Side, down, forward, chest. The third descriptor for both straight and circular has: Single and double. If one wants to “write” a word for one hand but wants to use two hands, the flat hand is the “neutral” hand shape. It can be ambiguous – is one using (amount? question??)
the single hand or the double hand? Well, Toki Pona itself can be ambiguous. If one wants to “write” well, they can keep one arm down. If one just wants to dance, then “writing” might get difficult. There are a few words which can be either single or double. (The word “still” is still “still”!)
If one knows the system well, they will also know which movements don’t “write”. But that’s all about arms and hands. What role does the footwork play? The legs can “write” grammatical words. For “li”, one leg moves upward. You can even kick. For “e”, one leg crosses over the other. For “la”, one leg is moved away, then slides back to the side of the other leg. For “o”, it’s the same as “li”, but the leg must look strong/square. For “pi”, it’s the same as “e” but the body must turn around. If one wants, they can just use the legs for the grammatical words, or use just the arms, use both, or even forego them altogether. I understand that the space available can restrict one’s movement, and can alter how the upper body moves. With Movement that Writes, one can “write” (War is good?! No! “War hurts”)
one word in many different ways, and can adapt the system to different genres and styles of dance. I might not keep working on this system. However, the system isn’t “finished” and is open to other people’s alterations. Goodbye, and have fun!

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