Interpreting Intentionally Vague Language (VL)

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Presentation I gave in Minneapolis on November 10, 2012

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  • Thanks: Carol Golden for bringing me out here. You for bringing your experience, comments, questions, energy. I learn from you.\n
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  • Read some of your Mad Libs stories. When interpreting, have you ever not had enough context to fill in the blanks? How do you fill in the blanks when the language is vague?\n
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  • Not uninformative or sloppily constructed\n
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  • (An accused strangler)\n
  • Saving one’s own “face”\nPositive communication goals = what we want to achieve\nNegative communication goals = what we want to avoid\n
  • A strategy for when who’s doing what to whom is not clear. \n
  • A strategy for when who’s doing what to whom is not clear. \n
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  • Self-correction: interlocutor asks the other for clarification\n
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  • 1. Open the container 2. Remove the seal 3. Procure the substance\n“You know what a good woman can do for a man.” “All this Mexican food is going make for an interesting afternoon.” “Now that I'm (ahem) years old...” “A certain number of widgets will be delivered in a timely fashion.”\n
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  • Interpreting Intentionally Vague Language (VL)

    1. 1. Vague Language: why people use it and how to interpret it Daniel Greene, BA, Graduate Candidate, CI & CT, NIC Master Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 1
    2. 2. Introductions: me • Diploma from School of Creative & Performing Arts • AA in ASL Interpreting • BA in English • Singing, photography • In Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies program at WOU. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 2
    3. 3. Introductions: ? you • Your studies? • Your work? • Your hobbies? • What do you think Vague Language is? • What do you hope to learn, and how do you plan to incorporate it into your work? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 3
    4. 4. Workshop Description Participants will study and explore the use of vague language (VL) in both English and ASL, the communicative purposes of VL, the importance of retaining ambiguity when conveying vague messages from one language to another, the benefits of leaving language vague instead of interrupting to request clarification, and specific strategies for conveying VL in both ASL and English. Participants will gain an elevated respect for when, why, and how we should say just what our consumers said. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 4
    5. 5. Educational Objectives  By end of workshop, participants should be able to:  Define VL and name at least 5 communicative purposes that VL serves.  Distinguish between language that needs to be clarified and language that is better conveyed at uttered.  Have strategies for conveying VL in English and ASL without interrupting for clarification.  Give a dozen examples of words, phrases, signs, classifiers, and mouth morphemes used in VL in English & ASL.  Know where to look for more resources. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 5
    6. 6. Agenda  7 hours with 1-hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks  .6 CEUs in Professional Studies (PS)  Lecture, discussions, Q & A, etc.  Take care of yourself, ask questions, respect others, share knowledge and share time.  Message me privately with a note or email me@danielgreene.com if you don’t want to comment/question publicly. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 6
    7. 7. Mad Libs Game Pair up: responder and scribe. Fill in the blanks as vaguely as possible; e.g., if it asks for a noun, fill in a vague noun. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 7
    8. 8.  vague |veɪg| adjective  of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning: many patients suffer vague symptoms. V  thinking or communicating in an unfocused or imprecise way: he had been very vague about A his activities. G  DERIVATIVES vague•ness noun, U vagu•ish adjective  ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French, or from E Latin vagus ‘wandering, uncertain’ (New Oxford American Dictionary). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 8
    9. 9. VL is not…  VL is not “vague language” in the sense of unfocussed, uninformative, sloppily constructed, poorly articulated, badly written, or incomprehensible to those who know the speaker well.  Ambiguous language like “porcelain egg container” or “The chicken is ready to eat” whose “vagueness” usually serves no social function. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 9
    10. 10. VL is…  Intentional  Approximate  Nonspecific  Polysemous  Pragmatic (speakers’ goals)  Social (speakers’ relationship to each other) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 10
    11. 11.  reduce social distance, Purposes of VL imply group membership, develop rapport  be concise, relevant, People use VL intentionally to: informative, non-pedantic  be flexible, allow for alternatives, collaborate  be polite, manage tension, save face, avoid losing face  Promote group identity, protect individual identity  avoid taking responsibility Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 11
    12. 12. VL is Universal  Found in every language studied so far.  Used in both English and ASL.  Used more in speaking than in writing.  Predominant in casual discourse but exists in formal discourse and “frozen” texts.  A characteristic of native fluency. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 12
    13. 13. Paul Grice’s Conversational Maxims  Maxim of Quantity: Be succinct. Say as much as necessary, but not too much.  Maxim of Quality: Be honest. Only say what you have evidence for and believe to be true.  Maxim of Relation: Be relevant. Make your contribution relevant to the interaction.  Maxim of Manner: Don’t be ambiguous (or vague) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 13
    14. 14. Violating the Maxim of Manner  “Indirect Strategies” (Brown & Levinson, 1987 in Hoza, 2007)  Be ambiguous, be vague  Overgeneralize  Displace hearer  Be incomplete, use ellipsis Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 14
    15. 15. ‘And you know what that means!’ —Flouting Maxims  Humorous Conversational Implicature (Cutting, 2007, p. 225)  “Well you know what he’s like.”  “I can imagine why you wouldn’t want to.”  “I really like the teacher very much.”  …and you know what that means / … and I don’t have to tell you what that means.  How can we handle such implications? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 15
    16. 16. Examples of VL Hedge words, adverbial modifiers, ambiguous responses, etc. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 16
    17. 17. Polite Pucker (pp) & Polite Grimace (pg) Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 17
    18. 18. Body/head teeter (bt) Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 18
    19. 19. “WELL”/q Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 19
    20. 20. ‘WELL’/pg, bt Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 20
    21. 21. DON’T MIND /pp , tight lips Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 21
    22. 22. DON’T MIND /pg, pg–frown Figures from the book It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language. Hoza, J. (2007). Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press. Photographer: Jack Hoza. Model: Carol Zurek, native deaf signer. Used with permission from Jack Hoza and Gallaudet University Press. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 22
    23. 23. Vague intonation / inflection  Rising tone / inflection (eyebrows, head forward)  List with pauses rather than the “alternative ‘or’”  “Would you like coffee, tea, soda...?” vs. “coffee, tea, or soda?” (rising vs. falling = vague vs. specified)  “Would you like chicken or beef on that salad?” Note the difference between rising tone / inflection and falling tone / inflection. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 23
    24. 24. Hedges  TRUE (really), actually  MAYBE, maybe, may, might, perhaps, perchance  THINK, think, imagine, suppose  SIMILAR, like  WELL, WELL (hands circling), #WELL, well…  Polite grimace (pg) tighter based on risk to face, rank of request difficulty, power differential. Same as tone. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 24
    25. 25. Other Vague NMMs  Shoulder shrug, head tilt (don’t know, not sure…)  Eye gaze / pursed lips (thinking about it…)  Pursed lips Mm:  “acceptable”  “noncommittal”  “unimpressed”  Can you think of other vague NMMs? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 25
    26. 26. Vague ASL Responses  THAT–THAT, “Hm…”, pursed lips (pl)  Head tilt, polite grimace  Body/head teeter (bt)  Shrug  Can you think of other vague ASL responses? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 26
    27. 27. Vague Vocal Responses  Eh?  Hm  Mm  Uh  Oh  Can you think of any vague vocal responses? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 27
    28. 28. Vague Response Game in ASL & English Pair up into Partner A and B. Partner A make statement to Partner B. Partner B respond noncommittally. Switch, repeat until time is up.Monday, November 12, 12 28
    29. 29. VL to obfuscate/bewilder in “Party Political Speech” “My friends, in the light of present day developments, let me say right away that I do not regard existing conditions lightly. On the contrary, I have always regarded them as subjects of the gravest responsibility, and shall ever continue to do so. … For I have no doubt whatsoever that whatever I may have said in the past or what I am saying now is the exact, literal and absolute truth as to the state of the case” (Peter Sellers, 1958 in Joan Cutting, 2007, p. 234). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 29
    30. 30. VL in Corporate–speak  “Less desirable outcomes may have to be explored.”  “It is not possible at this time to comment upon the present matter with any substantial level of certainty.”  “It is not our intention to discriminate; however, rules must be set to ensure educational standards.”  What other examples of corporate–speak do you interpret in the schools? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 30
    31. 31. VL in the Courtroom: direct examination  Person on the stand may use VL so as neither to lie nor to say that for which they have no evidence; e.g., “I think…” or “It might have been. I can’t be sure.”  Person on the stand may use VL to shirk responsibility, avoid blame, or minimize admission of guilt.  Judge or lawyers may ask questions to force person on the stand to clarify vague language.  What happens when you clarify consumers’ VL? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 31
    32. 32. VL in the Courtroom: Cross-examination  “Q: He was sputtering and choking, was he not? A: No, sir. I would not say it was life threatening. No. Q: He was not choking? A: I am not saying he was not choking. There was some noise coming from his throat, yes” Cotterill, 2007 ‘Vagueness in the British Courtroom’, in Vague Language Explored, ed. Cutting, p. 110).  How do you think this relates to educational interpreting? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 32
    33. 33. Self-protective avoidance  Negative communication goals = what we want to avoid; e.g., embarrassment at being wrong or inadequate. “I’ll just be giving a brief overview of the topic, far from an exhaustive review...” “still in its infancy...” “your mileage may vary ‘YMMV’...” “IMHO (in my humble opinion)” “Perhaps...”  Presenters at conferences do this (Trappes–Lomax, 2007).  Students giving reports might give such disclaimers to protect themselves as well. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 33
    34. 34. Passive voice  “The package will be picked up” rather than “He/ She/They/Someone will pick up the package.”  “The results will be determined by a committee.”  “The check will be sent by overnight express.”  “Someone will be given an item to process.” Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 34
    35. 35. Passive voice, a.k.a. agent- defocused constructions  “Just a dog being walked” rather than “Just someone walking their dog” (because the dog is more important than the person).  “I was bumped to the front of the line” (because the person who bumped you is not as important as that you were bumped). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 35
    36. 36. Approximators  about / approximately  around / AROUND…  sort of / SO-SO  ...or so, give or take, more or less, EQUAL±  -ish (ASL shake vs. swipe; e.g., bluish, greenish, twoish, threeish vs. BLUE!, GREEN!, TWO!, THREE!)  Pretty good, pretty ugly, etc. (GOOD++ vs. GOOD!) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 36
    37. 37. Quantifiers  Some, few, several, a lot, many, enough, plenty  SOME, FEW, A-LOT, MANY, ENOUGH, PLENTY  one or two, ONE-TWO, a couple-three, TWO-THREE Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 37
    38. 38. Modified quantifiers / NMM  Very few (FEW oo)  Quite a few (FEW puffedBlow)  Quite a bit (MUCH mm)  Quite a lot (MUCH puffedBlow)  Baker–Shenk and Cokely (1980), Struxness (1996), Bickford, J. & Fraychinaud, K. (2006). Phrases mine.  A tiny bit (“pinky-flick” boo) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 38
    39. 39. Vague Category Markers (VCMs)  VCMs, general extenders, general list completers, tags, terminal tags, vague category identifiers. These show that previous list items are just examples.  …or anything/something (like that)  …and/or stuff/things like that  …and/or that sort of thing  VARIOUS-THINGS, COUNT-ON-FINGERS, CL:5 COUNT-ON-FINGERS, LONG-LIST, part:indef Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 39
    40. 40. me•ton•y•my |məˈtänəmē noun (pl. metonymies) M  the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant, for E example suit for business executive, or the track for horse racing. T DERIVATIVES O metonymic |ˌmetəˈnimik| adjective metonymical |ˌmetəˈnimikəl| adjective N metonymically |ˌmetəˈnimik(ə)lē| adverb ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek Y metōnumia, literally ‘change of name’ (New Oxford American Dictionary). M Y Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 40
    41. 41. Metonymical Proper Nouns  How’s your Chomsky coming? (homework)  She ran off and married that suit. (executive)  House bid accepted, now to the bank! (financing)  I just pulled a Carol! (something Carol would do)  They went all KKK on my ass! (police brutality) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 41
    42. 42. Clausal ellipsis  “Did you get what I sent you?” “He liked what I gave him.” “So, shall we do it?”  Speakers sharing knowledge claim in-group membership by omitting it when referring to it in casual conversation. In/exclusive.  You, the interpreter, don’t usually claim in-group membership. How do you let them have their rapport? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 42
    43. 43. Where else do you see VL?  Intimate or casual conversations (street talk, slang)  Teachers talking shop (professional jargon)  Illicit or secretive exchanges (mischief, scheming)  Frozen texts such as literature, film, music, theater  What other kinds of VL do you interpret? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 43
    44. 44. Ethics & Models Why and how to interpret VL vaguely Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 44
    45. 45. VL and the CPC Interpreters:  “render the message faithfully by conveying the content and spirit of what is being communicated, using language most readily understood by consumers” (2.3).  “conduct and present themselves in an unobtrusive manner” (3.5).  “demonstrate respect for consumers” (4.0).  “facilitate consumer access and equality, and support the full interaction and independence of consumers” (4.4). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 45
    46. 46. Confusion is part of communication “…if communication depends on the construction of meaning from cues, and if communicators do not have direct access to others’ meanings or intentions, then what we should expect is partial communication. Successful communication requires our attention and explanation” (Wilcox & Shaffer, 2005, p. 45). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 46
    47. 47. “It is not that English is indirect and ASL is direct” “The problem is not interpreting. It is not that English is indirect and that ASL is direct as Humphrey and Alcorn (2001) and others would have us view it. It is not that translation equivalents are hard to find (indeed, they are, but that pales in comparison to the real problem). It is not that ASL is direct and elaborative and relies on expansion techniques while English is indirect and non-elaborative (Lawrence 1995; Humphrey & Alcorn 2001). The problem is that our models of interpreting simply do not do justice to the act of communicating. In trivializing the cognitive work that is done whenever we communicate with another we fail to prepare interpreters for the awesome and mysterious task that they perform: speaking for another.” (Wilcox & Shaffer, 2005, p. 44) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 47
    48. 48. 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% The Toolmakers Paradigm “Imagine…a huge compound, shaped like a wagon wheel. Each pie- shaped sector of the wheel is an environment…at the hub of the wheel there is some machinery which can deliver small sheets of paper from one environment to another…people in these environments have learned how to use this machinery to exchange crude sets of instructions with one another— instructions for making things helpful to surviving…” (Reddy, 1993, pp. 171-172). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 48
    49. 49. Everyone is an Interpreter: Discuss! 1. “Speaking for another” does not minimize the “cognitive work that is done whenever [people] communicate with [each other].” They “work” at “interpreting” each other. 2. What kind of “work” do you do when you’re communicating with another in your first language? In your second language? Through an interpreter? 3. How much work should the consumers do, and how much work should the interpreter do? Why? 4. How do I know how much work they would do if they were speaking the same language in the same culture? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 49
    50. 50. What if I weren’t there? vs. What if they were speaking the same language? “‘What if I weren’t there?’ is I used to suggest people ask an abdication of themselves, “What if I responsibility” (Pollard, weren’t there?” Now I 2010) “ Robyn Dean said, suggest asking “Would these “‘What happens there people understand each without interpreters?’” is a other if they were members question for observation– of the same culture speaking supervision” (Dean, 2010). the same language? Would —Workshop presented by there still be confusion? Dean & Pollard at the Would things still be vague? Conference of Interpreter Do I need to level the Trainers, Oct 2010. playing field as a mediator?” Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 50
    51. 51. Talk as Text and Talk as Activity  Talk as Text: “Utterances are viewed as units of meaning that consist of smaller units of meaning such as words and morphemes; each of them is equally meaningful.”  Talk as Activity: “Utterances are viewed as activities that are part of situated interactions, and make sense to those involved, depending on the type of situation at hand, on the number of people present, and their mutual alliances and mutual involvement” (Wadensjö, 1992, pp. 22–23). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 51
    52. 52. Consumer Collaboration Dynamic: a working title (Greene, 2011)  Some consumers are each other’s family, friends, classmates, coworkers, etc. They know each other better than the interpreter knows them.  Some consumers communicate fairly well without an interpreter— they use facial expressions, gesture, writing, home/name signs, speech & lipreading, etc. (Some even sign when they’re not on the phone!)  Some consumers know each other intimately and, naturally, use vague language with each other. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 52
    53. 53. Group Membership Shared Knowledge Deaf Social Space Relationship Hearing Co- Consumer Consumer COLLABORATION labor- Communication Tools ation Fluency in M Deaf/Hearing Culture/Language O D Hearing E Interpreter L Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 53
    54. 54. Interpreters = Interrupters? “Many teachers find the ‘lust’ to clarify and explain irresistible” (Rowland, 2007, p. 81). Do interpreters share the same ‘lust’ as teachers? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 54
    55. 55. Interpreters = Interrupters? Should you interrupting to clarify? Discuss: 1. Are they using VL? How can I tell? 2. How might I defeat the purpose of VL by clarifying? 3. What harm might I do by interrupting? 4. What good might I do by interrupting? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 55
    56. 56. Drawbacks to interrupting  Breaks flow of conversation, throws off train of thought  Shifts focus from consumers to interpreter  Assumes responsibility for communication  Deprives consumers of natural consequences, self- correction, and rapport  Defeats the purpose of VL Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 56
    57. 57. Strategies for interpreting VL English–ASL w/o interrupting  Vague body language, facial expression, and mouth morphemes (adverbial and adjectival modifiers)  Vague signs such as ETC., WELL, LIKE, UH…, YA- DA, YA-DA, YA-DA (official gloss for that sign?)  Creative expressions that convey a message that is equivalently vague in ASL as the English message.  Passive voice or non-agent construction: “I was called” or TAP(me)–ON–SHOULDER Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 57
    58. 58. Strategies for interpreting VL English–ASL w/o interrupting  Transliteration  Fingerspelling— (if you can’t make sense of what you’re hearing but you got the sounds of it).  Approximation— “Sounds like…” (good with f/s) “Something to the effect of…” “Something about…”  Check w/consumer: Hearing: “…and you know what that means…” You: “KNOW MEANS YOU?”  Make the implicit explicit if you have to. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 58
    59. 59. Strategies for interpreting VL ASL–English w/o interrupting  All the vague words we learned in MadLibs  Vague personal pronouns— one, they, someone, e.g., “When one is hungry, one will do anything to eat.” “They pushed it.” “Someone wanted something.”  Gerunds (verbs ending with –ing); e.g., “The flashing of the lights was distracting,” (who was flashing the lights?) or, “When the packing was done, it was time to go” (who was packing or going?). “There was a lot of fighting going on” (who was fighting?). Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 59
    60. 60. Game: Interpret VL w/o interrupting  Pair up with someone you don’t know well.  Attend to the source language prompt.  Interpret the vague source message into an equally vague target message. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 60
    61. 61. VL examples to interpret  1. Open the container 2. Remove the seal 3. Procure the substance  “I think you should see the widgets arrive in a timely fashion.”  “All this Mexican food is going make for an interesting afternoon.”  Well, I think I’d kinda like if we tried to start sometime around two-ish. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 61
    62. 62. Mad Libs, Take 2 What are the vaguest words that can be used to fill in the blanks for different parts of speech required in Mad Libs? Let’s go through them one by one.Monday, November 12, 12 62
    63. 63. Vague adjectives  considerable, sizable, nothing to sneeze at  indistinct, murky, uncertain, undecided, undetermined, unclear, unknown, unremarkable, unspecified, vague  certain— actually uncertain (vague), as in “of a certain age,” “a certain someone,” “a certain something,” “a certain time,” etc. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 63
    64. 64. Vague adverbs  sort of, kind of  someway, somehow  apparently, ostensibly, presumably, supposedly, allegedly, seemingly Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 64
    65. 65. Vague animals  Animal, organism, life form, microbe  Invertebrate  Mammal  Amphibian  Pet Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 65
    66. 66. Vague body parts  organ, system  appendage, limb  upper body, lower body  torso, extremities  thingy, privates  scrabula (UrbanDictionary) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 66
    67. 67. Vague colors  Pastel  Bright  Muted  Light  Dark Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 67
    68. 68. Vague exclamations/silly words  Oh/Huh/Eh?  Really?!  You don’t say!  No shit!  Interesting!  Whatever!  Anyway! Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 68
    69. 69. Vague single nouns  Something, thing, thingie, thingamajig, it, hoodicky, whichamabobber, whosiwhatsis, watsit, truc (Fr), whatchamacallit, item, bit, article, parcel, package, widget, part, tool, product, garment, file, document (CL:F “paper”), SKU, device, element, container (CL?!)...  Da kine (Hawaiian Pidgin from “that kind”) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 69
    70. 70. Vague plural nouns  Individual: Things, this & that (cosas), odds & ends, loose ends, gizmos, doo dads, widgets  Collective: collection, bunch, range, line, class, market, niche, array, assortment, selection, boatload  Mass: Stuff, crap, merchandise, stock, inventory, cargo, material (not always fabric!) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 70
    71. 71. Vague numbers  Heaps of, loads of, oodles of, lots of, tons of...  Many, plenty of, myriad, innumerable, numberless  A couple, a few, several, some-odd, umpteen, scores, hordes, thousands  HORDES, ONE–THOUSAND MINIMUM  The other day, weeks, months, years, eons, ages  Choke! (Hawaiian Pidgin) Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 71
    72. 72. Vague occupations  “I work on computers.”  “I work in science.”  “I’m in the import/export business.”  “I work in the entertainment industry.”  Can you think of other vague occupations? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 72
    73. 73. Vague people  Someone, guy, gal, kid, old fart, mec (Fr), type, one, individual, troop, entity, party, body, resource  Agent, operator, actor, stakeholder  Whoever, you–know–who, , what’s–his/her–name  You know, that actor from that movie where they…  An anonymous source (donor, informant…)  Number, suit, skirt, hottie, babe, player, that one Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 73
    74. 74. Vague places  Place, location, rendezvous, spot, venue, space, arena, area, coordinates, intersection, latitude  Stepped away, on the other line, in a meeting, in the field, out of the office, indisposed  Somewhere, someplace, wherever, who knows where, you-know-where, overseas  Can you think of other vague places? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 74
    75. 75. Vague pronouns  One, one’s  They, Them, Their  OK to use they/them/their as third person singular when you’re unsure of gender or don’t wish to specify. Shakespeare did this.  This helps when interpreting genderless indexing. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 75
    76. 76. Vague verbs  Go (went, etc.), come (came, etc.), do something/ stuff, do a bit of this & that, etc., run errands (DO++), fool around, tool around, futz, fiddle-fart, putter, keep busy, take care of business, take care of some odds & ends, tie up loose ends, get all [my] ducks in a row, engage, take action…  Can you think of more vague verbs? Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 76
    77. 77. Q & A and Review Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 77
    78. 78. Limitations  Lack of keywords “VL” or “vague language” in literature about ASL; must search for many related terms and synthesize lit review.  Only one ASL corpus (NCSLGR), 19 narratives, 19 elicited utterance videos, 14 participants.  No unrehearsed monologues or dialogues.  Not all my observations from experience are reflected in the corpus. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 78
    79. 79. Implications for teaching and research  Study how deaf people use VL.  Study how interpreters interpret VL.  Publish more about VL in the interpreting field.  Teach VL in ASL / interpreting curricula.  Consider VL in self-assessment, professional discussions, case conferencing, mentoring, etc. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 79
    80. 80. Review: Workshop Description Participants will study and explore the use of vague language (VL) in both English and ASL, the communicative purposes of VL, the importance of retaining ambiguity when conveying vague messages from one language to another, the benefits of leaving language vague instead of interrupting to request clarification, and specific strategies for conveying VL in both ASL and English. Participants will gain an elevated respect for when, why, and how we should say just what our consumers said. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 80
    81. 81. Review: Educational Objectives  By end of workshop, participants should be able to:  Define VL and name at least 5 communicative purposes that VL serves.  Distinguish between language that needs to be clarified and language that is better conveyed at uttered.  Have strategies for conveying VL in English and ASL without interrupting for clarification.  Give a dozen examples of words, phrases, signs, classifiers, and mouth morphemes used in VL in English & ASL.  Know where to look for more resources. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 81
    82. 82. Contact me Go to my Website: www.danielgreene.com From there, you will find links to my Email, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Copyright Daniel Greene 2011Monday, November 12, 12 82

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