Duets in Sign Language Poetry: A New Form from Old Traditions

Año: 2023
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, 23(3), 319-354
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This article describes the newly developing form of poetic duets in Libras (Brazilian Sign Language). What do the two people performing a sign language duet poem do to make a duet different from a solo poem? How can we categorize their actions and the effects that these actions create? Drawing on examples of duet poems in Libras, we analyze different types of sign language duets to understand what is added to signed poems when two people perform what cannot be produced by a solo signed poetic performance. Duets in which signers are arranged front-to-back, side-by-side, or above-below display a range of effects related to the modes of signer coupling, the symmetry created, and figure-ground roles. A clearer understanding of the potential of poetic duets in sign language contributes to the development and appreciation of the genre and to the aesthetics of signed literature generally.