Around the World in 100 Years: The Semantic Creation and Utility of Geographical/Country Signs (2011 USDB/ASLTA Presentation)

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Presentation given to the 2011 USDB Interpreters Spring Workshop and the 2011 Utah American Sign Language Teachers Association Conference. Presentation is a targeted followup of my 2010 Deaf Studies …

Presentation given to the 2011 USDB Interpreters Spring Workshop and the 2011 Utah American Sign Language Teachers Association Conference. Presentation is a targeted followup of my 2010 Deaf Studies Today! presentation about the historical and semantic evolution of geographic signs in American Sign Language. Presents historical research data, results of a 2010 qualitative survey, and ideas for sign language interpreters working in K-12 classrooms where geography is a subject matter.

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  • 1. Around the World in 100 Years:The Semantic Creation and Utility ofGeographical/Country SignsDoug StringhamDepartment of ASL & Deaf StudiesUtah Valley University
  • 2. What we’re notgoing to do today:
  • 3. • Although we will discuss current trends in geographic/country signs, this is not a workshop focused on learning the ”new” signs.• This is not necessarily a sharing session for what country signs you know or have seen.• This is not a workshop to formulate political positions on which signs are ”right” or ”wrong.”
  • 4. What we aregoing to do today:
  • 5. • Learn about and understand the etymology and evolution of geographic signs in ASL (Lucas, Bayley, & Valli, 2001; Stringham, in press)• Understand and learn about patterns of semantic creation and a proposed framework for geographic sign semantics (Palella, 2007; Stringham, in press)
  • 6. • Understand how Deaf communities use and identify themselves with certain geographic sign usage (Stringham, in press)• Identify, discuss, and infer best practices for using geographic signs in K-12 classroom interpreting situations
  • 7. What was this study about?
  • 8. Evaluate and analyzethe historical corpora ofgeographical or ‘country’signs from 1909 to 2006.
  • 9. Literature review
  • 10. Little to no publishedresearch on geographicallexemic development.
  • 11. What we do have are printedetymologies and dictionaries.
  • 12. • Historical etymologies of LSF/O-ASL (l’Epée, 1784; Frishberg in Klima & Bellugi, 1979) and name signs (e.g. 1833 name sign from PSD [Supalla 1992]); do we have like sources for geographical signs?• Modern etymologies of country signs (Long 1909, Higgins 1923, Michaels 1923, Riekehof 1963, Watson 1964, Shroyer 1982, Sternberg 1994?); validity?• Extant film evidence from the NAD Preservation project (1910–1913)
  • 13. Pennsylvania School for the Deaf name sign (1833)
  • 14. Long (1909) sample etymologies
  • 15. Long 1909 GREECE. Place the forefinger of the ”G” hand upon the nose, pointing upward, letting the knuckle rest between the eyes, and then draw the finger down the length of nose. Note that this indicates the straight nose of the Greek.
  • 16. Long 1909 AMERICA signifying the Union. With palms toward self, lock the ends of the fingers of the ”5” hands so they are crossed, one above the other (like rails on a fence) and drawing the hands toward the left, swing them around the front in a semicircle to the right sides.
  • 17. Long 1909TURKEY. Placed the closed ”C” hand a little above theforehead, thus representing the crescent.
  • 18. Higgins (1923/1944) sampleetymologies
  • 19. Higgins 1923/1942 CANADA. Right ”A” hand grasps lapel of coat. N.S.—Supposed stance of Canadians standing at rest.
  • 20. Higgins 1923/1942 ENGLISH—Palm of right hand over and surrounding back of left hand, left pointing rightward and palm down, right fingers grasp fleshy part of little finger edge and gives the left hand a shake. N.S.—The English were considered great hand shakers.
  • 21. Riekehof (1963) sampleetymologies
  • 22. Riekehof 1963 HOLLAND—Place the thumb of the right ”Y” on the lips, then draw the hand down and out. IDEA: The pipe used by the Dutch.
  • 23. Sternberg (1994) sampleetymologies (validity?)
  • 24. Sternberg 1994 SWEDEN. (swēd’ n) n. (A ”hairy Swede,” perhaps borrowed from the image of the early Swedish explorers.) Finger the hair on the back of the hand. This is a native sign.
  • 25. Sternberg 1994 BRAZIL. (brə zil’) n. (Possibly having to do with the feathered headdress of a native.) The fingers are placed on the forehead and the hands moves in a slight counter-clockwise direction. A native sign.
  • 26. Where did these signscome from?
  • 27. Methodology
  • 28. Chose 17 10 dictionaries/corpora for:• salience and saturation• Deaf and/or Deaf-World produced• representative comprehensiveness• exposure to deaf/hearing SL students• because of duplicate, anomalous, and/or outlier data, dropped Michaels (1923), Fant (1964), O’Rourke (1973), Riekehof (1978), Shroyer (1982), Costello (1983), and Bailey & Dolby (2002)
  • 29. Long (1909)The Sign Language:A Manual of Signs
  • 30. Higgins (1923/42)How to talk to the deaf;the language of gestures, expression,impersonation, pantomime or acting,used by all people in all ages andeverywhere
  • 31. Riekehof (1963)Talk To The Deaf:A practical visual guide useful to anyonewishing to master the sign language andthe manual alphabet
  • 32. Watson (1964)Talk With Your Hands
  • 33. Stokoe, Casterline, &Croneberg (1965)A Dictionary of American SignLanguage Based on LinguisticPrinciples
  • 34. Humphries, Padden,& O’Rourke (1980)A Basic Course in AmericanSign Language
  • 35. Fant (1983)The American Sign LanguagePhrase Book
  • 36. Smith, Lentz, & Mikos(1989)Signing Naturally (Books I/II)
  • 37. Sternberg (1994)American Sign Language(unabridged edition; ”the classicauthority updated”)
  • 38. Valli (2006)The Gallaudet Dictionary ofAmerican Sign Language
  • 39. Pedagogical CommercialPreservationary (Re)discovery1909 1963 1980 2006
  • 40. Analyzed ‘countries’ chaptersor alphabetical indices to findany geographical (and ethnic)signs in a text
  • 41. Cross-referenced unique(lexical, morphological, orphonological) variationsby chronology
  • 42. Calculated correlationalstatistics (!, " 2, or x) betweenvarious corpora
  • 43. Data and significantobservations
  • 44. 1. Did world historical events influence the corpora?
  • 45. 1910
  • 46. 1900 & 1930 Europeanimmigration statistics
  • 47. Top birthplaces of foreign-born/immigrated United States citizenscorrelated with Long 1909 and Higgins 1923 corpora1900 Long 1909 (n=24) 1930 Long 1909 Higgins 1923 (n=14)Canada CANADA Canada CANADA CANADAGermany GERMANY CzechoslovakiaIreland IRELAND Germany GERMANY GERMANItaly ITALY Ireland IRELAND IRISHNorway NORWAY Italy ITALY ITALIANRussia RUSSIA MexicoSweden SWEDEN PolandUnited Kingdom ENGLAND Soviet Union RUSSIA RUSSIAN Sweden SWEDEN United Kingdom ENGLAND ENGLISH Φ = .434 Φ = .353 Φ = .438
  • 48. Geographic lexemes in Long (1909)1512 9 6 3 0 N/C America S America Africa Europe Asia Oceania n = 24
  • 49. 1910
  • 50. Correlation of 1909 European Europe 1909 Long 1909countries (n=24) and Long Great Britain ENGLAND Scotland SCOTLAND1909 (n=24) geographic signs Wales Ireland IRELAND Netherlands HOLLANDΦ = .508 Belgium Luxembourg France FRANCE Spain SPAIN Portugal Italy ITALY Switzerland Austria-Hungary German Empire GERMANY Denmark DENMARK Norway NORWAY Sweden SWEDEN Russia RUSSIA Bulgaria Turkey (Ottoman Emp) TURKEY Greece GREECE Montenegro Serbia Romania
  • 51. Geographic lexemes in Higgins (1923/42)10 8 6 4 2 0 N/C America S America Africa Europe Asia Oceania n = 14
  • 52. 1910
  • 53. 1945
  • 54. Correlation of main countries Allied/Axis/Neutral countries Higgins 1923/1942involved in WWII (n=16) and AustraliaHiggins 1923/1942 Brazilgeographic signs (n=8) Canada CANADA New ZealandΦ = .368 South Africa Soviet Union RUSSIAN United Kingdom ENGLISH United States UNITED STATES Germany GERMAN Italy ITALIAN Japan (in Michaels 1923) Ireland IRISH Portugal Spain SPAIN Sweden Switzerland
  • 55. Geographic lexemes! Long (1909), ! Higgins (1942), ! Riekehof (1963)1512 9 6 3 0 N/C America S America Africa Europe Asia Oceania
  • 56. Contents of the original Long 1909 corpusappear to be based on European immigrantstatistics/recognition(high !/r correlation between 1900/1930immigration and Higgins 1923/42)
  • 57. However, there appears to be low correlation thatworld historical events influences the increase ordecrease of the corpora:• corpora decreases in size between WWI and WWII• corpora doesn’t include lexemes for well-known countries/empires (e.g. AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, SWITZERLAND, etc.)
  • 58. • historically, the corpora have been indifferent to Latin/South American historical events (coups, wars of independence)• Unexplained inclusions/exclusions: • never SOVIET UNION (1917–1990), always RUSSIA • despite instability/newsworthiness since late 1970s, Middle/Near Eastern countries excluded • Valli 2006 includes two signs for YUGOSLAVIA; Yugoslavia dissolved in 2003
  • 59. 2. Did Deaf world historical events influence the corpora?
  • 60. Deaf-World events, however, do appear to impactgeographic lexeme corpora:• NAD Preservation films (1910–1920)• Deaf Way I (1989)• World Games for the Deaf/Deaflympics (1924–)• Deaf Mosaic (1985–1995)
  • 61. Robert McGregor (1913) ”A Lay Sermon”02:00–02:40 (CHINA, LATIN, GREECE, EUROPE); 06:35–07:00 (EGYPT, ITALY, RUSSIA) 07:40–08:00 (JEW, BLACK/NEGRO, YELLOW, WHITE)
  • 62. Correlation of WGD WGD Host/Year 1909 1923 1963 1989 2006host countries and Australia (‘05) AUSTRALIA1 AUSTRALIA2 AUSTRALIA2 Austria (‘49)geographic signs Belgium (‘53) AUSTRIA2 AUSTRIA2 BELGIUM2 Bulgaria (‘93) BULGARIA Canada (‘91) CANADA CANADA CANADA CANADA Denmark (‘49, ‘97) DENMARK DENMARK DENMARK2 DENMARK2 England (’35) ENGLAND ENGLISH ENGLAND ENGLAND ENGLAND2 Finland (’61, ’95) FINLAND FINLAND2 FINLAND2 France (’24, ’79) FRANCE FRENCH FRANCE FRANCE FRANCE Germany (’31, ’55, ’81) GERMAN GERMAN GERMANY GERMANY GERMANY2 Holland (’28) HOLLAND HOLLAND HOLLAND2 HOLLAND2 Italy (’57, ’83, ’01) ITALY ITALY ITALY ITALY ITALY2 New Zealand (’89) N. ZEALAND Norway (’53, ’87) NORWAY NORWAY NORWAY NORWAY2 Romania (’77) Slovakia (’11) Sweden (’39, ’63, ’73, ’03) SWEDEN SWEDEN SWEDEN2 SWEDEN2 Switzerland (’59, ’71, ’99) SWITZ. SWITZ.• No WGD sites in Africa, Taiwan (’09) TAIWAN TAIWAN Asia (<2009), or South US (’65, ’75, ’85, ’07) US US (AMERICA) (AMERICA) US America, Yugoslavia* (’69) YUGOSLAVIA2 YUGOSLAVIA2
  • 63. Deaf Mosaic(1985–1995)S01E06 1985 13:30, 14:02, 25:40S05E01 1989 25:28, 26:15S06E06 1990 03:19, 10:40, 12:23, 13:07, 17:00, 18:50S11E01 1995 18:40
  • 64. • Deaf Mosaic produced regular episodes focusing on international Deaf peoples and communities, featuring indigenous signs• Deaf Mosaic produced special episodes focusing on the Deaf Way (1989) gathering in Washington, D.C. and several WGD spotlights, featuring (for the time) atraditional geographic/country signs
  • 65. 3. What unique linguistic observations are present in the corpora?
  • 66. a. A case of (rapid) variation
  • 67. Long 1909 SCOTLAND. Bring the ”5” hands up in front, palms toward self, the palm of the right hand resting against the back of the left in such a way that the fingers of both hands cross at an angle representing an ”X;” let the hands drop away toward the sides. Note that the fingers when thus held represent the plaid.
  • 68. Long 1918 SCOTLAND. Bring the ”5” hands up in front, palms toward self, the palm of the right hand resting against the back of the left in such a way that the fingers of both hands cross at an angle representing an ”X;” let the hands drop away toward the sides. Note that the fingers when thus held represent the plaid. SCOTLAND. (2) Place back of the extended right hand across the left arm; draw it across and then turning the hand over repeat, representing plaids on arm.
  • 69. Long 1918 SCOTLAND. Bring the “5” hands up in front, palms toward self, the palm of the right hand resting against the back of the left in such a way that the fingers of both hands cross at an angle representing an “X;” let the hands drop away toward the sides. Note that the fingers when thus held represent the plaid. SCOTLAND. (2) Place back of the extended right hand across the left arm; draw it across and then turning the hand over repeat, representing plaids on arm.
  • 70. Higgins 1923 SCOTCH:Palms inward, open fingers crossed, hands drawn apart down to sides; or, tips of right prone spread fingers along left sleeve and then across to indicate the plaid.
  • 71. Higgins 1942 SCOTCH:Tips of right prone spread fingers along left sleeve and then across to indicate the plaid.
  • 72. Rapid variation: morphological changeRiekehof Humphries Fant Smith Valli1963 1980 1983 1989 2006
  • 73. b. The importance of 1989
  • 74. Smith et al. (1989) represents a bellwether event in thegeographic corpora:• first to respond to already-active language borrowing trend (Lucas 2001a, 2001b) and show more than one sign for a country (although Watson 1964 did show EUROPE1 and EUROPE2): • multiple variations: AFRICA, AUSTRIA, DENMARK, FINLAND, HOLLAND, JAPAN, MEXICO, SWEDEN, YUGOSLAVIA
  • 75. Smith 1989First pedagogical text to display ”transitional” or atraditional geographical signs b C b C b C b C
  • 76. • functions as kind of a transitional milepost: indicates a level of acceptance by the Deaf/ASL Community = ”it’s okay to use this/these sign(s)”• first volume to indicate that spelling a country’s name is an acceptable sign: fs-AUSTRIA, fs-CUBA, fs- IRAN, fs-IRAQ, #H-K, #P-R (Long 1909, Riekehof 1963 used abbreviatory #N-A, #S-A, and #U-S)• why were other acceptable borrowings left out? GERMANY? ITALY? Evidence for these signs seen at Deaf Way and on Deaf Mosaic (1985, etc.)
  • 77. • increased sign corpus by 160% (Smith 1989, n = 42; Fant 1983, n = 26)• Significant increases to • Asian signs (Fant 1983, n = 5; Smith 1989, n = 14 inc. variations) • European (Fant 1983, n = 15; Smith 1989 n = 24 inc. variations) • North America (Fant 1983, n = 3; Smith 1989, n = 8 inc. variations)302010 0 N/C America S America Africa Europe Asia Oceania
  • 78. c. Variation anomalies
  • 79. Long 1909 AMERICA signifying the Union. With palms toward self, lock the ends of the fingers of the ”5” hands so they are crossed, one above the other (like rails on a fence) and drawing the hands toward the left, swing them around the front in a semicircle to the right sides. Or, (2) With the right ”A” hand, thumb up, describe a circle on the back of the left hand.
  • 80. Long 1909SWITZERLAND. Place the end of the right ”B” hand againstthe forehead; withdraw it, twist the hand around so thepalm is out and strike the side of the head with the back ofthe hand. (Not fixed in 1918 printing)
  • 81. Michaels 1923EGYPT:1. Press your middle finger against your nose: flat nose.2. Make a peak by pulling the palms together with the fingertips only touching. 3. Move the hands apart in a slantingway, right hand to the right, left to the left: pyramid. (cf.McGregor 1913 film)
  • 82. Michaels 1923GREENLAND:1. Index finger of right hand extended and thumb restingon the middle finger, move the hand in a round aboutmanner. 2. Sign cold.ICELAND:1. Make the sign for ice or freeze.2. Pass the palm of the right hand under the left forearmheld before you.early reference to manual coded English variations?
  • 83. Higgins 1923/1942 UNITED STATES—Fingers of both hands interlocked or dovetailed, palms inward, moved right-up-left-down, or moved left-up-right-down. N.S.—All united fingers and the circle around to denote extent and agreement. • produced with a vertical motion rather than a lateral motion (only volume to do this) • UNITED STATES defined as AMERICA (only volume to do this); hypothesis: predominant media refers to ”United States” and ”US” during WWI/II?
  • 84. Watson 1964 EGYPT: end of the open right hand on the end of the forehead; withdrawn making circle, bring the end of the hand at rest on the nose as at first. • (Long 1909) EGYPT: Place the end of the open right hand on the end of the nose; withdraw it, describe circle above the nose, and bring the end of the hand at rest on the nose as at first. • cf. Michaels (1923) EGYPT
  • 85. Riekehof 1978 EGYPT: Make a ”C” with the thumb and index finger and place it on the forehead, palm forward. (Represents the crescent on the flag of a Moslem country.) • no additional variations between 1964 and 1978; why this sign/change?
  • 86. Stokoe 1965 Poland, Pole, Polish. Sometime signed with humorous intent: but this is regarded by many signers as an impolite sign.
  • 87. Sternberg 1994• Sign variation anomalies: heavy emphasis on Caribbean, Central/South American signs (Smith 1989, n = 4; Sternberg 1994, n = 14; several dubious variations, unverified in any other source)
  • 88. Sternberg 1994ARGENTINA 2, n. The COLOMBIA n. (kō lum’ be a; AUSTRALIA 2, n. Both handsthumbtip of the ”A” the letter ”C.”) The right ”C” are held in the ”8” position,hand touches both hand, palm facing forward, palms down. The signersides of the forehead. makes a counterclockwise flicks out the middle fingers circle as it rests on the back of of both hands twice. This is the left hand. A native sign. a native Australian sign.
  • 89. Sternberg 1994ECUADOR (ek’ wa dôr) GUATEMALA (gwä te mä’ HONDURAS (hon doo’ ras), n.n. The right ”E” hand lä) n. The open right hand The downturned right ”V” handmakes a clockwise rubs the stomach in a moves down an inch or two oncircle at the right counter-clockwise the right side of the body, as iftemple. A native sign. direction. A native sign. putting something into a side pocket. A native sign.
  • 90. Sternberg 1994MEXICO (měk’ se kō), n. ITALY 2, (loc.), n. (A NICARAGUA (nik eh rä’ gwa),(The sombrero.) Both characteristic Italian gesture.) n. (The letter ”N.”) The rightindex fingers describe The thumb and index finger of hand, forming the letter ”N,”the wide brim of a the right ”F” hand are placed taps the left shoulder twice.sombrero. against the right cheek, while A native sign. the hand trembles.
  • 91. 4. What does the data in the corpora teach us about evolving attitudes toward race and ethnicity?
  • 92. Long 1909Preservationary texts: inclusion of racial/ethnic signs with geographic signsNEGRO. Place the fingers JEW/ JEWISH. Placing the INDIAN. Place the end of the ROMAN, LATIN. Place theof the ”N” hand upon the fingers of the bent ”5” hand on thumb and forefinger of the tips of the ”N” fingers onend of the nose, and rock the chin, draw them down and closed ”O” hand on the end of the bridge and then the tipit from side to side with a off, letting the hand assume the nose and then carry it of the nose.twisting motion. the ”&” position as it leaves around and place it similarly the chin. against the ear.
  • 93. Higgins 1923Preservationary texts: inclusion of racial/ethnic signs with geographic signsNEGRO: Tip of right vertical JEW: Right bent fingers, palm INDIAN: Joined index and thumb ROMAN: Right ”N” tips at theindex pressing tip of nose, to inward, scratched through the tips of right hand at the lobe of top of the nose, and moved toindicate soft flat nose of beard near the chin. the ear and then at the nostrils the tip, as if over a large Romanrace. (Sometimes middle tip to indicate the rings worn by nose. (Latin)of open hand instead of some Indians. (Sometimes thisindex tip is used.) sign is used to denote the ”Cent”).
  • 94. Watson 1964(Re)discovery texts: inclusion of racial/ethnic signs with geographic signsand/or stereotypical mnemonic representational devices
  • 95. Watson 1964(Re)discovery texts: inclusion of racial/ethnic signs with geographic signsand/or stereotypical mnemonic representational devices
  • 96. Racial/ethnic lexeme inclusionLong Higgins Riekehof Watson Stokoe Riekehof Humphrie Fant Smith Valli1909 1923/42* 1963 1964 1964 1978 s 1980 1983 1989 2005NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGROJEW JEW JEW JEW JEW ISRAEL2 ISRAEL1 ISRAEL1 ISRAEL1,2INDIAN INDIAN INDIAN INDIAN INDIAN INDIAN NATIVE AMERICROMAN ROMAN ROMAN ROMAN ROMAN ROMAN AN1,2 FILIPINO * countries listed adjectivally, e.g. SCOTCH, IRISH, etc.
  • 97. Racial/ethnic signs kept/change in geographic corpus:• Race/ethnicity an important component of 20th century (immigration, civil rights, domestic policy) American discourse; ASL incorporated this?• The sign corpus reflects back general 20th century American xenophobia and the active marginalization of the Deaf community (Baynton 2006)?• ASL is a visual language; signs must define visual differences?
  • 98. Racial/ethnic signs kept/change in geographic corpus:• Long 1909, Higgins 1923/42, Michaels 1923, Riekehof 1963 created out of some kind of religious tradition (identifying salient racial groups); later volumes merely included the template?• Humphries 1980, et al. endeavor to change the paradigm and purpose for ”sign language” books (social > pedagogical shift)?
  • 99. A proposed framework forgeographic sign semantics
  • 100. Little to no publishedresearch on geographicallexemic development.
  • 101. Robert Palella2nd ASL Fest, GallaudetUniversity (2007)
  • 102. Robert Palella, 2nd ASL Fest, Gallaudet University (2007) 14:20–19:30: arguments for loan word theory; 25:55–28:00: intro to classifications
  • 103. Reasons for applying linguistic concept of ”loan words”to other signed languages:• Signs are not necessarily changing as a reaction to so-called ’political correctness’• Signs are being borrowed because of the identification of a sign for a country not present in ASL• Reduces the need for fingerspelling• Signs perceived as insulting, focus on physical characteristics• Claimed that other countries consider ASL’s loaned use of their indigenous sign as ‘respect;’ fosters a globalism at international conferences and sporting events
  • 104. Reasons against applying linguistic concept of ”loanwords” to other signed languages:• A sign already exists for the concept; why replace it with another sign?• May be perceived as a quasi-colonial move• Spoken languages do not use indigenous lexemes/names for other countries (e.g. Japan/Nippon; Allemagne/Germany; Inglaterra/England)
  • 105. Potential framework foridentifying valid & reliable signvariation & etymology
  • 106. Sign/lexeme describes a physical, symbolic, or conceptual characteristic of a nation’s flag: GUATEMALA, TURKEY, LEBANON,vexillogical NICARAGUA
  • 107. Valli 2006Vexillogical-based country signs
  • 108. Valli 2006Vexillogical-based country signs ?
  • 109. Valli 2006Vexillogical-based country signs
  • 110. Sign/lexeme describes a physical, topographic, or geographical characteristic of a nation: PORTUGAL, JAPAN2, NORWAY2,geographical SWEDEN2, NAMIBIA
  • 111. Valli 2006Geographical-based country signs
  • 112. Valli 2006Geographical-based country signs
  • 113. Valli 2006Geographical-based country signs
  • 114. Valli 2006Geographical-based country signs
  • 115. Valli 2006Geographical-based country signs
  • 116. Sign/lexeme describes a cultural or personal characteristic of a people: food military history transportation arts/music linguistic clothing behaviorcultural animals religion personal feature arts/dance weather combinations
  • 117. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 118. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 119. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 120. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 121. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 122. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 123. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 124. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 125. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 126. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 127. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 128. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs Smith 1989
  • 129. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 130. Valli 2006Culturally-based country signs
  • 131. Sign/lexeme is produced with the initials of a nation’s name: NORTH AMERICA1, SOUTH AMERICA1, UNITED STATES1 (Long Ab 1909); HONG KONG (Smith 1989); COSTA RICA, PUERTO RICO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Valli 2006)abbreviatory • how valid/reliable? • works only for English variation of name?
  • 132. Valli 2006Abbreviatory-based country signs
  • 133. Valli 2006Abbreviatory-based country signsSmith 1989
  • 134. Sign/lexeme is produced seemingly not following any of the previous characteristics: ? BELIZE, BOTSWANA, BRASIL(?), COLOMBIA(?), HAITI, HONDURAS, NIGERIA(?) (all Valli 2006)arbitrary • how valid/reliable? • why are these created? contact/pidgin derivation?
  • 135. Valli 2006Arbitrary-based country signs
  • 136. Valli 2006Arbitrary-based country signs
  • 137. Valli 2006Arbitrary-based country signs
  • 138. Qualitative evaluation of DeafASL users and geographical/country sign usage
  • 139. Methodology
  • 140. • (February 2010) Invited 232 anonymous Deaf signers to participate in a two-part online survey (n=149): • ”Given the choice between two geographic/ country signs for the same country, which do you tend to use?” (n=16) • ”Given this sign, which country does it refer to (a, b, c, dont know, means something else)?” (n=15, mixture of common and obscure) • Reasons for choosing country signs (Likert scale) • Gender, age, deafness label, schooling
  • 141. Significant results/discussion
  • 142. • Deaf adult signers, regardless of age or schooling (read: language exposure) heterogeneously use signs with which they are comfortable: • SWEDEN2 and RUSSIA2 are preferred, but not ENGLAND2 and GERMANY2 • Many idiosyncratic morphological/pronunciation differences exist = how do accurate signs stay accurate/get passed on?• Many ”newer” geographical/country signs are mistaken for other similarly pronounced ASL signs
  • 143. Nine out of 16 (56%) of the”new” geographic/country signswere preferred
  • 144. What does this mean forinterpreters?
  • 145. Using geography/countrysigns in K-12 interpretingenvironments
  • 146. What are your K-12 stategeography/social studiesstandards?
  • 147. Linguistic/preparation concerns:• How are community members expressing these concepts?• Interpreters should not be as concerned about the en vogue sign for a given country as much as they should be concerned about communicating consistent meaning• Is there a semantic difference between CHINA1, CHINA2, and CHINA3? Arguably, do these signs represent time periods in these country’s histories?
  • 148. • Interpreters should understand how to use country signs to satisfy instructors’ linguistic and semantic intent: • real-world orientation (from here, where are Canada, India; from Mexico, France, where is here?) • ”In World War II, Germany, Japan, and Italy constituted the ’Axis Powers.’ (noun) • ”I like Swedish meatballs.” (proper noun) • ”The Thai people are friendly.” (modifier/adjective)
  • 149. Seal (2004)Best Practices in EducationalInterpreting (2nd edition)
  • 150. • What is/what should be the interpreter’s role in the linguistic development of primary-aged (K-3) students?• (3-8) ”Successful interpreters are also diligent in their search for signs that may already exist....Abundant fingerspelling is also appropriate when these resources fail to yield a sign-word match....(89)• (9-12) Interpreting in AP World Studies, MUN, language classes
  • 151. Thank you.dstringham@gmail.comTwitter: @stringd