A rhyme is a repetition of similar or the same sounds in two or more words, usually in the last syllables of lines in poems and songs (e.g. cough, dough, rough, through, etc.). Or the beginning sounds of the words (alliteration) such as dog, done, donkey, dough, etc.
How do rhyme and rhythm work in sign language? In phonology (the study of the smallest units of language), the parts of a signed word are: handshape, location, palm orientation, movement, and non-manual signal. They are called parameters. Each parameter has a number of primes.
In sign language specifically ASL, the same parameter in two or more words (signs) are repeated. The parts may be the same handshape, movement, and/or location, or combined, but the handshape rhyme is the most commonly used.
An example of the ASL rhyme is: WHITE WOLF GONE or WHITE+ WOLF+ GONE+. These three ASL words or signs have the same handshape as well as movement.
Leala Holcomb and Jonathan McMillan presented a brief introduction to ASL rhymes and rhythms with a few examples.
Austin Andrews gives some more explanation.
Related posts: Rhymes in Spring Dawn: ASL poetics
Related posts nursery rhymes in sign language for kids.
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Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)
Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.
This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.