Comparing language contact phenomena between Auslan-English interpreters and deaf Australians: a preliminary study

Jemina Napier*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper reports the findings of a study that explores the influence of language contact on the interpretations of Australian Sign Language (Auslan)-English interpreters and compares it with the influence of language contact on deaf Australians producing text1 in Auslan. Inspired by the work of Davis (1990, 2003) on American Sign Language (ASL)/ English interpreters, this study presents "first of all the analysis of data collected from two Auslan/ English interpreters, and their interpretation of university lectures from spoken English into Auslan. The key features discussed are the use of fingerspelling and mouthing in the context of interlingual transference and interlingual interference. Referring to language contact phenomena between signed and spoken languages, as discussed by Lucas and Valli (1992 and Davis (1990, 2003 ), the paper discusses the sign language output of Auslan-English interpreters in relation to the influence of language contact on the Australian Deaf community. In addition, the paper presents analysis of data collected from two deaf Australians presenting university lectures in Auslan. 2 The linguistic features identi"ed are compared with those of the interpreters. Using a functional approach to linguistic analysis (see Halliday 1994), a lexicogrammatical analysis of the texts focuses on the use of "ngerspelling and mouthing. Discussion focuses on whether Auslan-English interpreters are incorporating language contact phenomena into their Auslan interpretations in the same way as Deaf people. Because the research focuses on the analysis of only four individuals, it should be considered as a preliminary study of such language contact phenomena with a view to a wider study at a later date.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMultilingualism and sign languages
    Subtitle of host publicationfrom the Great Plains to Australia
    EditorsCeil Lucas
    Place of PublicationWashington, DC
    PublisherGallaudet University Press
    Pages39-77
    Number of pages39
    ISBN (Print)9781563682964
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameSociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series

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