Metaphor in American Sign Language
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: Gallaudet University Press
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (22.3 KB)
Download PDF (48.2 KB)
Download PDF (41.3 KB)
Several years ago, an undergraduate sign language interpreting major at the University of New Mexico (UNM) approached me and asked that I direct her to “a book on metaphors in American Sign Language.” Our search turned up no such book. During the subsequent years I became interested in the experiential theory of ...
Download PDF (51.3 KB)
Download PDF (47.0 KB)
Educated speakers of English will recognize the previous sentence as containing a metaphor. Some people may not understand what constitutes a metaphor, but they accept without much thought that a colorful line of prose can be metaphorical. In the past, metaphors were considered to be mysterious and poetic. Until recently, a metaphor was considered to be just a flowery ...
1. What Is a Metaphor?
Download PDF (135.6 KB)
Scholars who study metaphor theory have not always agreed on what constitutes metaphor as a unit of discourse. Traditionally, metaphors were considered to be full sentences (Black 1962). More recently, metaphors have been identified in different grammatical components and can be contained in a word (Sweetser 1987b); a ...
2. Removing the Shroud of Iconicity
Download PDF (116.0 KB)
The iconic, mimetic aspect of American Sign Language (ASL) has always been apparent. During the first half of the twentieth century, its close association with isomorphic physical representations and actions gave it a questionable linguistic status. Offering a historical perspective, Stokoe notes that “before there was sign language ...
3. An Ethnographic Approach to Signed Language Data Collection
Download PDF (88.1 KB)
The goal of ethnography is to describe a culture from the native’s point of view; the task of ethnographic research is to discover and describe important variables. The initial objective of this study was the elicitation of particular linguistic units, metaphors, rather than a corpus of field notes to be coded ethnographically. However, the ...
4. Reviewing the Tropes in American Sign Language
Download PDF (923.2 KB)
Metaphors and related tropes interact with, are embedded within, and heavily motivate and influence, each other. While each trope involves psychologically distinct cognitive processes, their interaction is intertwined in deep and subtle ways. The analysis of ASL metaphors helps to delineate these relationships. ...
5. Metaphorical Mapping in American Sign Language
Download PDF (1.7 MB)
The linguistic picture that ASL presents to the world is molded in part by the metaphorical mapping of concepts onto actual hand-shape formations and articulations. The hands reveal relationships of form, movement, and location through mental concepts that are motivated by the daily experiences of its language users. ...
6. Crossing a Metaphorical Ocean
Download PDF (271.0 KB)
What mysteries are embedded in a sign? The simplest signs in ASL have passed through the hands of thousands of deaf people. The motions have been repeated millions of times. What happens to the shape and to the meaning of common signs in ASL when they have been expressed and embodied daily by deaf people? What ...
7. Two Dogs and a Metaphorical Chain
Download PDF (145.2 KB)
Language is shaped by human cognition, and there are powerful connections between language and culture. It is impossible to consider the cultural awareness of the American Deaf community without relating to deaf people’s common experiences in using their gestural/visual language. Even the simple act of greeting and ...
Download PDF (63.7 KB)
Download PDF (68.1 KB)
Page Count: 228
Illustrations: 2 tables, 43 figures
Publication Year: 2000