SASLJ Vol. 2 No. 2 - Page 75

Line in ASL Poetry Valli 'SNOWFLAKE' by the author and 'CIRCLE OF LIFE" by Ella Mae Lentz are shown in notation below (Figures 3 and 4). Rhyme and line division Before discussing the features in Figure 3 and Figure 4, the term rhyme needs to be defined. Rhyme is defined as "the repetition of the same or similar sounding movements, whether vowels, consonants, or combinations of these two or more words or phrases" (Deutsch, 1969), and consists of alliteration and assonance. Alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant sound in successive words in a line (Kennedy, 1978) - a line from "Atlanta in Calydon" by Algernon Charles Swinburne provides a good example: The mother of months in meadow or plain as does a line from "a man who had fallen among thieves" by e.e. cummings: citizens did graze at pause Assonance occurs in the repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds at the beginning of successive words or within the words (Kennedy, 1978) as in a line from "Virginia" by T. S. Eliot: Slow flow heat in silence In Figure 3 all hand configurations in both lines of SNOWFLAKE show similar open handshape (5) in both hands. The repetition of the same or similar hand configuration at the first H segment of the sign, or both first and last segment of the sign, or first, middle, and last H segments of successive signs in a line, appears to function in a similar way to alliteration in spoken poetry. I refer it as handshape rhyme. In Figure 4 all the movements except SUN are the same or similar, mostly in the strong hand and in both hands. In these lines, the movements occur as the repetition of the same or similar movement inside the successive signs, similar to assonance in spoken poetry. I refer it to this as movement path rhyme. The lines in Figure 4 do not exemplify handshape rhyme as the hand configurations show some differences. Similarly, in Figure 3 movement path rhyme is not indicated as the movements show some variations. Thus, it would seem that SNOWFLAKE heavily exploits one rhyming device while CIRCLE OF LIFE exploits another. Nonmanual signals (NMS) are another important factor to be included in a discussion of rhyme. Note the NMS in Figure 3 and Figure 4. Repetition of NMS occurs in an orderly sequence in the lines of both poems, indicating their own rhymes. In Figure 3 at the beginning of the first line, eyebrow raise and pursed lips are indicated for the first two signs. The beginning of the third sign shows negation by headshake, and at the end of the line "th" (tongue slightly protruding) is indicated. Eye gaze traces every sign. All the NMS are repeated in an identical sequence in the second line, except for body shift. The body is oriented toward the right in the first line and then shifts to the center when the second line is begun. This is called NMS rhyme. It is the same thing with Figure 4. In the first line eyebrow raise and eye gaze directed towards the addressee are used SASLJ, Vol. 2, No. 2 – Fall/Winter 2018 75