Research

Research

I will list research projects on this page. Both old and ongoing. (Updated August 15, 2019)

Overall I am generally interested in language documentation and phonetics/phonology of signed languages. I love it when my projects allow me to dig into both. I’m working on getting support for creating documentation for ASL video data which will then allow me to further investigate phonological alternations in ASL.

Sign Language Annotation, Archiving and Sharing (SLAAASh) This is a grant headed by Diane Lillo-Martin on getting videos in her acquisition corpus annotated. Similar to Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler’s previous project (see BiBiBi below). Dr. Lillo-Martin’s corpus is the “sister” project at University of Connecticut. I’ve been supervising the completion of annotations as well as standardizing what’s in the annotations. We have been working on creating a database of ASL signs as well – ASL Signbank! (see other Signbanks, e.g., NGT, BSL and Auslan). Also follow us on Twitter or Instagram. You can also check this site.

Philadelphia Signs This is a project headed by Jami Fisher and Meredith Tamminga of University of Pennsylvania. They are conducting a documentation project of the ASL used by Deaf people living in the Philadelphia area. I am assisting them with documentation activities – e.g., digital organization of data and annotation of videos. I also hope to use this data for studying phonetic processes in ASL. Site. Article.

Haitian Sign Language Documentation Project From May to September of 2014, I helped coordinate a language documentation project which collected and examined naturalistic data in order to begin the language documentation of Haitian Sign Language (LSH). Members of the Gallaudet linguistics department worked alongside with Deaf Haitian community members in actively documenting their language. The goal of this short project was to produce an initial grammatical sketch of LSH as well as initiate ongoing language documentation efforts that will be continued by the Deaf community itself in Haiti. Team members at Gallaudet University included Kate McAuliff, Elizabeth Steyer, Amelia Becker and Megan Kish. Current status: Initial collection and description complete (Publication with short sketch in English or LSH).

BiBiBi Language Acquisition Study  From 2006 to 2010, I worked as a research assistant then lab manager for Professor Deb Chen Pichler’s child acquisition project known as the BiBiBi project. “BiBiBi” stands for “bilingual, bimodal and bi-national.”  “Bilingual” because we observe children acquiring more than one language from a very early age (often starting at birth), “bimodal” because these children are acquiring one spoken language and one signed language, “binational” because we are working with another university in another country (along with University of Connecticut). In our lab, we filmed a few children each week in spontaneous play sessions. The target language alternates each week. That is, one week it’ll be ASL and then the next, English. This longitudinal and extensive project has generated a large and rich body of data that is slowly being transcribed and analyzed. Site. Article.

There are always other projects in the works. I’m interested in language documentation of ASL for example and in communicating about linguistics to the community and advocating for best practices as well as inclusion of Deaf linguists.