By R. Sutton-Spence

This new learn is an enormous contribution to signal language examine and to literature typically, the advanced grammatical, phonological and morphological structures of signal language linguistic constitution and their function in signal language poetry and function. Chapters take care of repetition and rhyme, symmetry and stability, neologisms, ambiguity, topics, metaphor and allusion, poem and function, and mixing English and signal language poetry. significant poetic performances in either BSL and ASL - with emphasis at the paintings of the deaf poet Dorothy Miles - are analysed utilizing the instruments supplied within the book.

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Extra resources for Analysing Sign Language Poetry

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Meanwhile, the letters forming the initialisation handshapes of each sign spell out ‘Deaf education fails’: DOCTOR EVALUATE AGGRESSIVE FIDDLE-WITH-EAR-TO-FIX-IT (not an initialised sign, but using an ‘F’ handshape) ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL DISCRIMINATION USE CONCEPT ABSTRACT THEORY IDEAS OPINIONS NO FAMILY AGGRESSIVE ISOLATED BIG-EGO (not an initialised sign but using an ‘L’ handshape) SOCIETY This is a particularly pointed use of initialised signs and handshapes normally reserved for representing English, as English and the manual alphabet are major tools of educators of Deaf children.

These include The Staircase (p. 246) and The BDA is … (p. 240), celebratory and inspirational poems that we will look at in some detail later (especially in Chapters 7 and 10). They praise the achievements of community members and affirm their continuing strength as a Deaf Nation. Paul Scott’s Three Queens (p. 253) is another poem that comes from a strong sense of Deaf Pride. For a community that has been denigrated too often by outsiders, this sort of poetry is truly empowering. Perhaps most importantly, sign language poetry also empowers Deaf people by focusing on the beauty and potential of sign language.

We saw in Chapter 1 that these discourse factors determine where we place things in space so that we can refer to them and understand the relationship between the signs and their referents in our signing space. If we talk about trees and flowers, we might place signs Repetition in Sign Language Poetry 39 relating to the trees on the left of the signing space and signs relating to the flowers on the right of the signing space. Signs that are located in the general ‘neutral space’ in front of the body in their citation form can be meaningfully placed in areas of space relevant to the trees and flowers.

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