Rhymes and rhythms in American Sign Language (ASL)

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.). How do rhyme and rhythm in sign language work?

In sign language specifically ASL, the same parts (visues) in two or more words (signs) are repeated. The parts may be the same handshape, movement, and/or location, or combined, but handshape is the most commonly used rhyme.

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. It's also an example of alliteration.

Leala Holcomb and Jonathan McMillan presented a brief introduction to ASL rhymes and rhythms with a few examples.

Austin Andrews gives some more explanation.

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