SASLJ Vol. 2 No. 2 - Page 73

Line in ASL Poetry Valli a path, the contour of the path may be described. For example, the M in MUCH is an arc, the M in OPPOSITE has a straight contour, and the M in PHILADELPHIA has a 7 contour. For the purposes of discussing the nature of a line in ASL poetry, this study has been narrowed to these particular features: movement details, hand configuration, and nonmanual signals. Citation forms, prose and poetry in ASL Sign language researchers and teachers often make reference to the so-called 'citation form' of a sign or group of signs. The citation form is roughly analogous to the 'standard" form of a spoken language word, in contrast to a dialectal or stylistic variant. Transcription of a citation form of a sign is a straight-forward process. Citation forms are most frequently elicited in response to, 'what is the sign for _________?'. But citation forms are often quite different from those occurring in prose. Prose is what is 'uttered' naturally during discourse. ASL prose is the medium through which deaf people communicate daily with ease. Two contrasting examples of the sentence, ' I want to go to the store', in ASL citation forms, and from ASL. prose, are shown in Figures 1 and 2, along with the basic segmental notation. Notice again, that I am only examining movement details, hand configuration, and nonmanual signals; many other details would also differ in the two forms. In describing ASL it is often necessary to write down what each hand is doing, so in the following notations the top line is the 'strong' hand (right for righthanded signers; left for lefthanders) and the bottom line is the 'weak' hand (left or righthanders; right for lefthanders). Figure 1 Citation Forms in ASL SASLJ, Vol. 2, No. 2 – Fall/Winter 2018 73