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The location of a sign refers to where the hands touch or come near to the body. Not every sign has a location on the body; some signs are in "neutral space" away from the body. SooSL does not attempt to indicate a location for them. It only marks a location when the hands come close to some part of the body or touch it.

SooSL represents location parameters with a map of the body, with a close-up view of the head. You will see this body map, or a similar one, when you examine the parameters of a sign, when you search for a sign, or when you index (mark) the sign's parameters.

The body has two sides. For sign languages, we often don't talk about people's left and right sides, because some people are left-handed. Instead, we talk about their strong and weak sides. 

In a dictionary, you may see people who are signing right-handed or left-handed. The important thing is which side the person is using as their strong side at a particular time. You can tell which side is the strong side by looking at three major sign types

(For the other three sign types, it doesn't matter which is strong or weak, because both hands are doing the same thing.)

On the SooSL body map, we represent the strong side as the right side of the person. If you are left-handed, just think of looking at yourself in a mirror.

Notice that there aren't locations on the strong arm, because the strong hand can't touch anywhere below the shoulder. It can touch the weak arm in many different places. When the two hands touch each other, we mark the location on the weak hand.

There are special helps in SooSL Web and SooSL Desktop. They will help you understand the body map.

Special helps for locations in SooSL Web

In SooSL Web, for details, you can hover the mouse over each location to see a description. Red areas are for places that you can touch. Blue areas are for areas near the body, but not touching.

You can also click theclosed eye. It will open, and you will see descriptions of the locations under the body map. 

Click a light bulb next to a description to see which location it describes.

Special helps for locations in SooSL Desktop

In SooSL Desktop, for details about what each location represents, hover the mouse over the area. It will turn light pink or blue when you do. A pop-up will give a description of the area. (The pop-up will remind you which are the strong and weak sides.) Pink areas are for places you can touch, or the hand(s) can just be near them. The blue areas are only used for motion that is near the body but not touching. 

Each body location icon represents one of the locations on the body map. Click it and its location will turn yellow in the body map. (This can help you if you want to delete a parameter from the indexing for the sign.)

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