Language News: Washington Post covers Sign Language at Rock Concerts

American Sign Language (ASL) is structurally different than English.  In addition to the fact that it uses hands instead of sounds, it has different words and a different word order.  Here’s a nice write-up in the Washington Post on the issues of translation between English and ASL in a context that might surprise you:  the concert venue.

What sign-language interpreters make of the likes of Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi.

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About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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