10.3 role-shift: Narrator and Characters

English Notes
BSL Video

The storyteller has a role of narrator and also as many character roles as there are in the story. The narrator usually stands straight and faces the audience and makes eye contact with the audience. Whenever they "shift" into a character, eye-gaze is often the first clue because they stop looking at the audience and start looking where the character looks. When the narrator has finished showing the character, she or he shifts back to the role of narrator again and looks back at the audience. Role shift often occurs with a blink and a head-movement, too. Each character will have a specified location within the signer's signing space, so that when the storyteller becomes the character, everything in space is from their perspective.


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