Blended Sign Language and Spoken Language Poetry

  • Rachel Sutton-Spence


For most of our exploration of sign language poetry so far, we have paid little attention to the influence of spoken language on sign language, and the effect that this can have on sign poetry. While it is clear that sign languages are fully independent languages, and that their grammars and vocabularies are independent of spoken languages, it is possible for the grammar of spoken languages to influence a person’s signing. As sign language poems are the highest art form of sign languages, they might be expected to be free from the influence of spoken language but this is not always the case, and certainly was not in the past. In fact, many of Dorothy Miles’ earlier poems were strongly influenced by English, as she tried to create poems that worked simultaneously in both languages and it is these ‘blended’ poems that will be the focus of this chapter.


Sign Language English Word Deaf People Stressed Syllable Deaf Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Rachel Sutton-Spence 2005

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  • Rachel Sutton-Spence

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