Sign Language Literature: Guide Contents

Guide Contents

This guide will assist you with Sign Language Literature research. Thanks to Don Bangs for contributing to this page on sign language genres from Ben Jarashow's ASLTA workshop, Summer 2019. In addition to recommending online videos and DVDs, this guide assists in finding articles, using selected databases and websites, and search tips related to this topic.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me, Joan Naturale - I am the NTID and Deaf Studies Librarian and am happy to help.

1. Personal Experience Narratives (funny, angry, sad, embarrassing, etc)

2. Folklore-story passed down through generations--who, where, when unknown. Usually funny.

3. Humor tends to be inside humor (outsiders do not get the joke); some humor subtly makes fun of hearing people

4. Personification-animals, plants, and objects assume human qualities. Two types: a) Humans are aware and communicate with personification; b) humans are not aware of personification

5. Group narrative--a) 2 or more people tell a story; b) most common example--one person behind another person signs for the person in front c) not common because it requires coordination and practice

6. Visual vernacular--a combination of mime and classifiers that tell a story that hearing people can understand

7. Classifier stories and cinematographic stories: a) classifier story different from the regular story--uses almost all classifiers to tell the story; b) cinematographic story uses classifiers but uses film framing techniques.

8.  Four types of stories with handshape constraints: a) one handshape story; b) number story-challenge number is 7; c) word story; d) abc story

9.  Deaf and Sign Language Theatre works--deaf club sketches to full productions; NTID formal style for hearing audiences as compared to informal styles for deaf audiences

10.  Please visit the Sign Language Poetry InfoGuide to learn more about poetry and song types. 


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