Subscribe

SLS CD

Archives

SLS History

Submissions

Advertising

Editorial Board

Press Home

Volume Eleven: Issue Three

Current Issue - Spring 2011

ARTICLES
Sign Language Program Structure and Content in Institutions of Higher Education in the United States, 1994-2004
Sheryl B. Cooper, Joel I. Reisman, and Douglas Watson

Abstract

Language Between Bodies: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Linguistic Politeness in American Sign Language
Daniel R. Roush

Abstract

Use of Text Messaging by Deaf Adolescents in Japan
Yoshiko Okuyama and Mariko Iwai

Abstract

A Segmental Framework for Representing Signs Phonetically
Robert E. Johnson and Scott K. Liddell

Abstract

DVD REVIEW
The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox, produced and directed by Miriam Nathan Lerner and Don Feigel
Rachel Sutton Spence
ABSTRACTS
Sign Language Program Structure and Content in Institutions of Higher Education in the United States, 1994–2004

The purpose of this study was to compare important characteristics of sign language programs in institutions of higher education in the United States in 1994 and 2004. Data were collected regarding (a) program structure, (b) program content and resources, and (c) opinions and recommendations of program administrators.

Data show that sign language programs have become increasingly accepted and entrenched in American postsecondary institutions. Additionally, data in a variety of categories support the theory that these programs have become more stabilized in terms of leadership and coordination, position within the institution, structure, and standardization of content.

This article discusses a ten-year comparative study by the authors. The results of three research questions were published in the American Annals of the Deaf (Spring 2008); this article provides the results of the remaining three research questions.

Back to the Top

Language Between Bodies: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Linguistic Politeness in American Sign Language

This article proposes an answer to the primary question of how the American Sign Language (ASL) community in the United States conceptualizes (im)politeness and its related notions. It begins with a review of evolving theoretical issues in research on (im)politeness and related methodological problems with studying (im)politeness in natural signed-language interaction. Because human conceptual systems of abstract notions such as (im)politeness employ cognitive metaphorical mappings and because ASL has strong iconic devices at its disposal, this article reports the results of applying the conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Lakoff 1987, 1993; Wilcox 2000; Taub 2001; see also Steen 2007 and Steen et al. 2010) to an analysis of ethnographically collected linguistic data. Because conceptualizations of (im)politeness are better understood as part of a broader system of conceptual domains, this article provides a survey of metaphorical (as well as metonymical and image schematic) mappings and their respective linguistic expressions, which constitute ASL’s (im)politeness-related system of domains. Also included is a discussion of how this methodological and analytical approach may advance theoretical notions of (im)politeness.

Back to the Top

Use of Text Messaging by Deaf Adolescents in Japan

This article discusses a survey study that drew on seventy-five high school students at a residential deaf school in Japan. The aim of the survey was to examine the various ways in which deaf adolescents use text messaging and to determine whether they use the technology differently from the hearing high school students surveyed in our previously published study. The present study found that deaf high school students use texting for different purposes than do their hearing counterparts. Contrary to the media hype about text messaging, the difficulties associated with the language of technology-mediated communication are identified in the deaf student data. The results of the current study raise questions about modern technology’s much-claimed empowerment of individuals with a hearing impairment. In addition, this article reports on the methodological issues of conducting a survey with a linguistic minority, including the choice of wording.

Back to the Top

A Segmental Framework for Representing Signs Phonetically

The arguments for dividing the signing stream in signed languages into sequences of phonetic segments are compelling. The visual records of instances of actually occurring signs provide evidence of two basic types of segments: postural segments and trans-forming segments. Postural segments specify an alignment of articulatory features, both manual and nonmanual. In contrast, during trans-forming segments at least some of the articulatory features are changing. Both types of segment are divisible into subcategories based on descriptive details of duration and nature of muscular activity. Features that describe the finer details of the manner in which a trans-forming change is accomplished argue for the specification of trans-forming segments as a part of the phonetic record. We conclude that an adequate phonetic representation of signs must account for both postural and transforming segments.

Back to the Top