Subscribe

SLS CD

Archives

SLS History

Submissions

Advertising

Editorial Board

Press Home

Volume Thirteen: Issue Three

Spring 2013

ARTICLES
The Sign institute and Its Derivatives: A Family of Culturally Important ASL Signs
Jilly Kowalsky and Richard P. Meier

Abstract

Identifying Recurring Depiction in ASL Presentations

Abstract

Coordinating the Chain of Utterances: An Analysis of Communicative Flow and Turn Taking in an Interpreted Group Dialogue for Deaf-Blind Persons
Sigrid Slettebakk Berge and Eli Raanes

Abstract

Eye Gaze in Creative Sign Language
Michiko Kaneko and Johanna Mesch

Abstract

A Stronger Reason for the Right to Sign Languages
Sara Trovato

Abstract

BOOK REVIEW
d/DEAF and d/DUMB: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero, by Joseph Michael Valente
Don A. Miller
ABSTRACTS
The Sign institute and Its Derivatives: A Family of Culturally Important ASL Signs

The sign institute is the source of a family of ASL signs that are used to refer to residential schools for deaf children and to other institutions. The members of the institute sign family—although initialized—are well-established within the Deaf community and, importantly, are used to refer to highly-valued aspects of Deaf culture. This is true despite the fact that initialized signs are sometimes rejected within the Deaf community. We examine the etymology of the sign institute and suggest two plausible hypotheses for its origin. In analyzing the etymology of the sign institute and its derivatives, we consider historical changes in how state residential schools for deaf children were named in the United States.

Back to the Top

Identifying Recurring Depiction in ASL Presentations

By using depiction, language users are able to provide information about what an entity or event is like, what it looks like, or even what it acts like. When giving a presentation, signers may use and reuse instances of depiction and may switch from one instance to another. In an examination of 160 minutes of video of American Sign Language (ASL) presentations,1 the presenters averaged twenty instances of depiction (of varying lengths) per minute. The high occurrence of depiction in these ASL presentations suggests that it is necessary to be able to recognize depiction in ASL discourse. In this article I introduce the term depiction as it relates to ASL, provide examples, and report on changes that aid in identifying depiction, particularly recurring depiction, in ASL presentations. I describe my analysis of the nonmanual changes (e.g., change in direction of eye gaze) that occur just prior to and at the onset of depiction and also discuss manual changes.

Back to the Top

Coordinating the Chain of Utterances: An Analysis of Communicative Flow and Turn Taking in an Interpreted Group Dialogue for Deaf-Blind Persons

This article explains how interpreters for deaf-blind people coordinate and express turn-taking signals in an interpreted dialogue. Empirical materials are derived from a video-ethnographic study of an interpreted-mediated board meeting with five deaf-blind participants. The results show that the interpreters provide access to visual and auditory signals for orientation and attention, exchange miniresponse signals, and actively take part in the negotiation of turns. As a result of these action patterns, a sequential order of interaction is established in the dialogue, and despite their inability to see or hear one another, the board members participate actively, and communication flows.

Back to the Top

Eye Gaze in Creative Sign Language

This article discusses the role of eye gaze in creative sign language. Because eye gaze conveys various types of linguistic and poetic information, it is an intrinsic part of sign language linguistics in general and of creative signing in particular. We discuss various functions of eye gaze in poetic signing and propose a classification of gaze behaviors based on the observation of a number of poems in British Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language.

Back to the Top

A Stronger Reason for the Right to Sign Languages

Is the right to sign language only the right to a minority language? Holding a capability (not a disability) approach, and building on the psycholinguistic literature on sign language acquisition, I make the point that this right is of a stronger nature, since only sign languages can guarantee that each deaf child will properly develop the linguistic and cognitive potentialities with whom (s)he is endowed at birth. So, the right to sign language is also the right to the integrity of the person.

Back to the Top