Areas of Study


This study is designed to investigate ASL-English interpreters’ management of signed texts from different sources, including individuals who are early and late/emergent learners of ASL.

The aims are twofold:

  • to document linguistic patterns that are produced by early and late learners, (e.g., pronominal forms, use of tense and temporal adverbials, etc.); and
  • to examine the management of those linguistic forms by professional ASL-English interpreters.

The first phase of this study will involve the creation of the signed texts. We will recruit interpreters to tell a 20-minute narrative to four deaf signers, two who are native signers, and two who have been signing for one year or less.

These texts will be analyzed for linguistic patterns and differences, and they will serve as the source texts for the second phase of the study.

In this phase, up to 20 interpreters will each interpret one native and one emergent signer text into spoken English. These interpretations will be analyzed for patterns for each type of signer. Additionally, the impact of preparation materials on interpretation will be investigated.

The results are expected to shed light on late language acquisition and strategies that interpreters leverage during simultaneous interpretation.

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Sign-to-voice interpreting considering clients with differing language experiences

Helen Thumann



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