In English, unlike in many other languages, signatures are typically very different from ordinary handwriting. A signature will often display all kinds of wild flourishes and elision of forms and what have you. A person usually starts out writing their name in print or in cursive, and develops the style of their signature over time.
But how exactly does a signature develop? How did mine go from a shaky, juvenile cursive rendition of "Jonathan William Purdy" to something that looks more like "Joth Wm Pdy"? (And then only if you turn your head and squint.)
Mainly I'm looking for research articles, books, and online resources on which strokes and series of characters can be elided, and what flourishes are common and allowable. This is a broad topic, and though I have a pretty clear concept of what I'm looking for, I'm finding difficulty describing it. Please ask any clarifying questions that come to mind.