Gallaudet University Press


3:1 Friday, January 26, 2001

Wilcox Tackles the Thorny Issue
of Metaphor in American Sign Language

For as long as American Sign Language has been recognized as a language, linguists have struggled to isolate the instance of metaphor in ASL. Author Phyllis Perrin Wilcox describes the traditional difficulty: "Looking at the moving hands of a signer while trying to separate the handshapes and the movements into metaphors only created a smoke screen of confusion," she writes. "Metaphorical mapping in ASL was obscured by the issue of iconicity, or the fact that some signs bear a close physical resemblance to the object they represent."

Now Wilcox (who co-authored Learning to See: American Sign Language as a Second Language with Sherman Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico) has succeeded where others have failed, producing a lucid account of this sophisticated topic, Metaphor in American Sign Language. Beyond mere linguistic analysis, Wilcox addresses the multicultural dimensions of ASL as well, interpreting the different reactions of Deaf Americans, Deaf Italians, and Deaf Germans to examples of ASL poetry. Read chapter one, What is a Metaphor?, and order Metaphor in American Sign Language at 20% off the regular price.

The Press launches its Spring 2001 season with the all-new, completely revised third edition of Clayton Valli and Ceil Lucas's Linguistics of American Sign Language. Long established as the authoritative text in its field, this new edition features new research and analysis of why ASL signs are distinct from gestures used in spoken languages, the multidimensional function of space in ASL, and a new focus on the artistic expressions of ASL, including drama, comedy, and poetry. Click on the link above to learn more about this exciting, updated edition.

The Press will be publishing five more new titles during the Spring 2001 season. Click on the covers below to read more about the latest that Gallaudet Unviersity Press has to offer:

Language in Hand

Orchid of the Bayou

Context, Cognition, and Deafness

Inner Lives of Deaf Children

Signed Languages

Author Douglas C. Baynton has written a detailed, admiring review of Robert Buchanan's Illusions of Equality: Deaf Americans in School and Factory, 1850-1950 in a recent issue of the Journal of Social History: "Buchanan's book marks an important departure [from the traditional reliance upon hearing sources] by focusing on the working lives of deaf adults and using sources generated by deaf people themselves--periodicals such as Deaf Mutes Journal and Silent Worker, and records of organizations such as the National Association of the Deaf, the state associations, and the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf....Buchanan has done much original research in a wide range of often obscure sources." Read Chapter Six and order Illusions of Equality.

Hannah Merker offers accolades for Legal Rights: The Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in the January/February 2001 issue of Self-Help for Hearing Loss: "The newest edition clearly and succinctly goes through issues of communication that should confront anyone at some time. It should be on the quick-reference shelf of every professional person--employer, social worker, physician, educator--and too, every home where hearing loss defines much that happens in one's life....Definitely replace your last edition with this one." Read Chapter Eleven and order Legal Rights.

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