The Department of Interpretation presents the second lecture in their Colloquium Series. Lori A. Whynot will discuss "Assessing Communicative Effectiveness and the Conventions of International Sign."
Recent decades have seen increased visibility of the signing contact phenomenon, International Sign (IS). Website video blogs publish information in IS for a global Deaf audience, and international Deafness-related conferences regularly adopt it as an auxiliary conference "language" to make content accessible to varied signed language users. There are unexamined assumptions about what information can be successfully conveyed with IS. Furthermore, there is insufficient research to inform teaching or interpreting with it, yet IS training is in demand. IS is described as a complex pidgin which employs similar structures found in conventional national signed languages. The only study of its comprehension suggests that this 'de facto' lingua franca is more readily understandable by North American or Western signed language users who viewed interpreters using IS. This presentation describes an ongoing PhD project that analyzes conventions of lexicon and depiction observed in expository IS as created by diverse Deaf, international signers. Comprehension is assessed in five different countries using a mixed methods approach. The research examines sociolinguistic factors and the extent that discourse information in IS is conveyed to viewers from distinctly different signed language backgrounds. It offers defining parameters of IS and suggests differences between comprehension of IS and conventional national signed languages.
Dr. Gaurav Mathur will provide a response to the lecture.