10.6 Guide to Good Storytelling

English Notes
BSL Video

The American Deaf story-teller Stephen Ryan has listed some of the features of ASL storytelling structure as a guide to “good” storytelling. We can see them in BSL too.

  • Symmetry in use of the hands and balanced use of signing space
  • Non-manual features – especially exaggerated facial expression
  • Eye-gaze and aperture
  • Classifier constructions to represent the noun, its location and action, and its physical features, but not for more than five seconds at a time
  • Referents are clearly established in space
  • Minimal use of fingerspelling Use of symbols, moods and emotions
  • Roleshifting
  • Creation of characters as they are introduced – including their physical attributes and clothes

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