Signuno alphabet

An Esperanto manual alphabet is included as part of the Signuno project for manually coded Esperanto. Signuno is based on the signs of International Sign, but adapted to the grammatical system of Esperanto.


The letters are all to be signed upright with a straight wrist, and palm outward, so for example the G resembles D, as in the French manual alphabet, although the D fingers are more open (like O) and the index finger is shorter. None of the letters involve motion (again like the static wrist this is to allow greater accessibility for certain disabled groups), so J and Z are distinct from other alphabets: J is like a Cyrillic J; and Z has the form of an ASL 3 (which appears to be unique to Signuno, and may have its origins in Cyrillic letter З (z) being similar in shape to the number 3).

Other differences from the American manual alphabet are:[1]

The diacritic letters Ĉ, Ĝ, Ĥ, Ĵ, Ŝ, Ŭ are sometimes derived from their base letters:


Unlike in Gestuno, Signuno digits are all made on a single hand. For 1 to 4, the fingers are extended from the index to the pinkie. Thus Signuno '3' looks like an ASL '6'. 5 is the international (and ASL) '5' hand. For 6 to 9, the fingers are extended from the pinkie to the thumb, skipping the middle finger so that 8 is the ASL '8'. Apart from facing inwards or (in the case of 0 and 10) to the side rather than outward as the letters do, they thus have the shapes of the Signuno letters O (0), G (1), V (2), W (3), [ASL 4] (4), Ŝ [ASL 5] (5), I (6), J (7), Q [ASL 8] (8), [ASL handshape for 'feel'] (9).

Powers of ten have the palm pointing to the side. 10 is signed as the Roman numeral X. As in ASL, 100 and 1000 are signed as the Roman numerals C and M.

For hours and months, there are additional sign for 11 and 12, which have the shapes of the letters Ĝ (11) and L (12) but turned so the palm faces the signer.

When working in hexadecimal, the pattern can be extended to 13 and 14 (i.e., 13 in hex is a turned Z hand), while 15 (hexadecimal 'F') is a turned F hand.[2]


Images and precise definitions for the letters and number can be found in the Signuno documentation.[3]