Poetry in South African Sign Language: what is different?

Anne Baker


Poetry in a sign language can make use of literary devices just as poetry in a spoken language can. The study of literary expression in sign languages has increased over the last twenty years and for South African Sign Language (SASL) such literary texts have also become more available. This article gives a brief overview of the linguistic devices sign language poetry can make use of, in particular those specific to the visual-spatial modality. As an illustration of these devices an analysis is then presented of the SASL poem Soweto by Modiegi Moime. This poem illustrates well the multi-layered meaning that can be created in sign language poetry through the use of the two hands and the non-manual components.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5774/48-0-282


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

ISSN 2223-9936 (online); ISSN 1027-3417 (print)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help