International Movement Writing Alphabet

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The International Movement Writing Alphabet (IMWA) is a set of symbols that can be used to describe and record movement. Its creator, Valerie Sutton, also invented MovementWriting, a writing system which employs IMWA. It in turn has several application areas within which it is specialised.

Application areas[edit]

Sign language transcription[edit]


Sutton SignWriting is optimised for sign languages and has the most development so far.

Dance notation[edit]

DanceWriting is a form of dance notation.

Mimestry notation[edit]

MimeWriting is for classic mimestry.

Kinesiology[edit]

SportsWriting is for the kinesiology of ice skating and gymnastics.

Identification numbers[edit]

The IMWA has more than 27,000 elements that are represented by unique identification numbers. Each identification number specifies six attributes—category, group, symbol, variation, fill, and rotation[clarify]—as dash-separated values. The symbol is specified with a three-digit value whereas all other attributes use a two-digit value (e.g., 01-01-001-01-01-01).

There are eight categories: hand, movement, face, head, upper body, full body, space, and punctuation.[clarification needed]

There are 40 groups[clarification needed]. The keyboard design and symbol palette[clarify] are based on the 40 groups.

History[edit]

Valerie Sutton

The IMWA was originally designed for describing sign language and consequently was named Sutton's Sign Symbol Sequence (SSS) by its inventor, Valerie Sutton. The original symbol set, SSS-95, was limited in size due to memory constraints in personal computers at the time. The SSS-99 symbol set expanded the number of symbols, and the SSS-2002 set was the first to use the current identification numbering system. The final version, SSS-2004, was renamed International Movement Writing Alphabet (SSS-IMWA) to reflect its usefulness in applications beyond sign language.

External links[edit]