SASL Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 - Page 69

ASL Literature Byrne Prior to 1980, only a small number of ASL works were available and these were frequently translations of English-language works. While the University of Arizona Collection may be extensive, its organization needs further improvements. The collection has a weakness when it comes to genres. The author’s doctoral dissertation includes input from ASL and Deaf Studies experts who offered ideas regarding how to best organize ASL literature. Not only was the interview helpful, the dissertation includes a literature review that includes various experts who expressed more ideas in scholarly publications (e.g., Bahan, 2006; Bauman et al., 2006; Brueggemann, 2009; Byrne, 1997–2012; Lane et al., 1996; Peters, 2000; Rose, 1992; Rutherford, 1993; S. Supalla, 2001; Valli, 1993; Valli et al., 2011). The dissertation is where all original ASL works were placed under appropriate genres, sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres. As seen in Figure 1, ASL literature comprising single-authored works is divided into three main genres: poetry, drama, and prose. The folkloristic works stand as a genre that is coequal to the single-authored works. The folkloristic sub-genres are legends, tall tales, riddles, and humor. ASL Literature Folklore Single-Authored Poetry 1) Legends 2) Tall Tales 3) Riddles 4) Humor Drama 1) Rhymes a) b) c) d) e) f) 1) Comedy Movement – based Location – based Palm Orientation – based Non-Manual Signal – based Handedness Handshape – based 2) Historical 3) Monologue Prose 1) Narratives of Personal Experience 2) Science Fiction 3) Fiction 4) Non-Fiction 5) Humor 2) Epics 6) Allegories 7) Riddles Figure 1 Genres of ASL Literature As part of the re-organized taxonomy for ASL literature, works listed in the original University of Arizona Collection that were translations from English were subject to removal. Other improvements to the collection included correction of bibliographical errors and additions of newer original ASL works. The revised collection has been renamed A Database of ASL SASLJ, Vol. 1, No. 1 – Fall/Winter 2017 69