Manual Extraction of Devanagari Handwriting Primitives

By Santosh Kshirsagar, Uday Athavankar and Ravi Poovaiah.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 12, 2016 $US5.00

Directional stroke practice aids in the correct acquisition of handwritten letter shape. This practice serves as a scaffolding in the process of handwriting readiness. Basic strokes for handwriting acquisition are rarely evaluated by the research world. This study focuses on the Devanagari script, as over eight-hundred million people use Devanagari in the world today. In teaching and learning Devanagari handwriting, the practice of basic strokes is completely ignored. Upon our investigation, we found that basic strokes meant for handwriting readiness from a first-grade book did not do justice to Devanagari letter forms. We have extracted Devanagari handwriting primitives through a manual method, which was conducted in two parts. In part one, six random participants received general instructions on separate basic strokes in Devanagari. The participants manually traced strokes to separate them from the given sheet of letters. Insights received from the exercise helped us prepare a final inventory of basic strokes for Devanagari handwriting. In part two, five expert participants received specific instructions based on the first-grade book to perform the same task. Clustering these strokes on the basis of the similarity of hand movements led us to find primitives for Devanagari handwriting. We found three levels of primitives for handwriting, namely, “unidirectional,” “bi-directional,” and “bi-directional compound.” In comparison, the instructions given in the first-grade book were found to be insufficient.

Keywords: Handwriting Primitives, Movement Similarity, Handwriting Readiness, Devanagari

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.1-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 12, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.642MB)).

Santosh Kshirsagar

Associate Professor, Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art and Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Uday Athavankar

Senior Professor, Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Mumbai, India

Ravi Poovaiah

Senior Professor, Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India