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By R. Sutton-Spence

This new examine is an enormous contribution to signal language learn and to literature ordinarily, taking a look at the advanced grammatical, phonological and morphological platforms of signal language linguistic constitution and their function in signal language poetry and function. Chapters care for repetition and rhyme, symmetry and stability, neologisms, ambiguity, issues, 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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When sign language poetry is performed, the presentation is framed as a special display to signal to the audience that this is a poetic performance. We will explore the relationship between sign poems and their performance in more depth in Chapter 9. In some unpublished notes from June 1990, Dorothy Miles summed up the situation in sign language, with reference to what she termed ‘Art Sign’: Art sign can perhaps be defined as sign that has been planned to create the best effect. However, storytellers, speech-makers, preachers and so on often produce spontaneous art sign in different ways.

They are angry poems, but they are often also wickedly funny, and show the strength of Deaf people living in a hearing world. Some sign poems are best described as being of ‘Deaf Pride’. 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.

Just as with handshapes, again, there are two options for obtrusively regular locations to occur poetically: repetitive use of the same location, and patterns of systematically varying locations. Exaltation (p. 242) uses the high area of signing space. Once again there is an important connotation behind the use of space as high ϭ happy ϭ good. Some of the signs are naturally ‘high’ signs. The first sign of the poem, operating almost as a prologue, is LOOK-UPWARD and the main body of the poem starts with the signs THINK and REMEMBER.

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