Sample of Sentences From Goldilocks


About The HamNoSys System

HamNoSys was developed by a group of hearing and deaf people as a scientific/research tool and first made publicly available in 1989. The purpose of HamNoSys, unlike SignWriting, has never been an everyday use to communicate (e.g. in letters) in sign language. It was designed to fit a research setting and should be applicable to every sign language in the world. It consists of about 200 symbols covering the parameters of handshape, hand configuration, location and movement (cf. Stokoe Notation). The symbols are as iconic as possible and are easily recognizable. The order of the symbols within a string is fixed, but still it is possible to write down one and the same sign in lots of different ways. The notation is somewhat phonemic, we're working on a 'phonologization' of the system at the moment. Hence, the transcriptions are very precise, but on the other hand also very long and cumbersome to decipher. It is possible to note down facial expressions, but their development isn't quite finished yet. In the above chart, facial expressions are written to the far right. HamNoSys is still being improved and extended all the time as the need arises. The system is used, for example, in research institutions in Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Germany (cf. the New Zealand dictionary of sign language or the technical dictionary for joinery from Hamburg ).

Susanne Bentele
Institut fuer Deutsche Gebaerdensprache
und Kommunikation Gehoerloser
Universitaet Hamburg
Binderstrasse 34, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Tel: ++49 40 428 38 6734
Fax: ++49 40 428 38 6109

Susanne Bentele

A partial documentation of HNS and the font are available on the web:

Universität Hamburg: Institut für Deutsche Gebärdensprache
Fachgebärdenlexikon Tischler/Schreiner

The HamNoSys Project; Notation von Gebärdensprache: HamNoSys

...for more information on different transcription systems.....

Susanne Bentele
Universitaet Hamburg
Stokoe Notation
Joe Martin, Western Washington University
Valerie Sutton, Deaf Action
Committee For SignWriting