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American Sign Language Linguistics

SectionMeeting timeCRNSession
017 Tuesdays 5:05PM-6:20PM 46300Full

This seminar introduces students to American Sign Language (ASL), the 4th most used language in North America, following English, Spanish and French. ASL is used in the US, Canada, parts of the Caribbean, and US territories.  There are many different sign languages used world-wide — almost as many as there are different countries.  Also, sign language is well documented for many Native American groups, which was used traditionally to make communication possible between individuals speaking many different languages.  Students will learn basic sign language vocabulary & grammar; the cultural diversity of Deaf communities; and the role of sign language in various professions like teaching, interpreting, counseling, law, medicine, as well as others.

Professor Information

Jeffrey Davis

Professor

  • Theory & Practice in Teacher Education
  • Education, Health, and Human Sciences
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Professor Jeffrey Davis learned sign language as a child, and has worked as a teacher, interpreter, and researcher of sign language for more than four decades.  He has written extensively for Cambridge and Oxford Universities as well as Gallaudet University, publishing over thirty articles and chapters on the subjects of linguistics and sign language. The most recent books he has authored are: Hand Talk: Sign Language among American Indian Nations, Cambridge University Press (2010); and, Sign Language Interpreting in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts, Gallaudet University Press (2010). Currently, he is writing another book for Cambridge University Press titled: Language by Any Means.

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