The Hamburg Sign Language Notation System, or HamNoSys, is a transcription system for all sign languages (not only for American Sign Language), with a direct correspondence between symbols and gesture aspects, such as hand location, shape and movement. It was developed in 1985 at the University of Hamburg, Germany. As of 2020,[update] it is in its fourth revision.
Though it has roots in Stokoe notation, HamNoSys does not identify with any specific national diversified fingerspelling system, and as such is intended for a wider range of applications than Stokoe which was designed specifically for ASL and only later adapted to other sign languages.
Unlike SignWriting and the Stokoe system, it is not intended as a practical writing system. It's more like the International Phonetic Alphabet in that regard. Both systems are meant for use by linguistics, and include detail such as allophones that are not relevant to those actually using the language.
The HamNoSys is not encoded in Unicode. Computer processing is made possible by a
HamNoSysUnicode.ttf font, which uses Private Use Area characters.
Writing systems for sign languages
^a Sign-language names reflect the region of origin. Natural sign languages are not related to the spoken language used in the same region. For example, French Sign Language originated in France, but is not related to French. Conversely, ASL and BSL both originated in English-speaking countries but are not related to each other; ASL however is related to French Sign Language.
^b Denotes the number (if known) of languages within the family. No further information is given on these languages.^c Italics indicate extinct languages.