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Sign Language/Deaf Access & Equity Candidate Dr. Corrine Occhino

February 17 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Join us Monday, February 17th at 12:30 PM in 338 for a presentation from Dr. Corrine Occhino who is a Research Assistant Professor from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Title: Signed languages as visual languages: Iconicity and experience in language processing

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Occhino will describe two important factors at the center of understanding the ways in which iconicity influences the structure and processing of signed languages. First, she will discuss the relationship between individuals’ language experience and iconicity, showing how signers’ relationship with a signed language influences their perception of iconicity within that language. Second, she will discuss the relationship between form and meaning and the notion of “construal.” She will suggest that the manifestation of iconicity in signs, or the grammar of signed languages, relies on signers’ own sensory-motor, perceptual, cultural, and linguistic experiences. Therefore, the perception of iconicity of any given sign varies from one individual to the next, both within a single language, and across signers of different signed languages. Finally, she will argue that language experience and individual construal are important factors when quantifying, operationalizing, or documenting iconic factors in signed languages. She will show how embodied approaches to language and cognition can help explain these factors and reconcile iconicity findings within current linguistic frameworks. To gain insight into the nature of iconicity in both signed and spoken languages, researchers must reevaluate assumptions about the underlying nature of iconicity. Future studies on iconicity and embodiment may also close the gap between signed and spoken language research, so that findings from each field can cross-pollinate, growing new ideas across research in different language modalities.

The venue is wheelchair-accessible, and American Sign Language interpreting will be provided. Requests for other accommodations should be sent to Morton Ann Gernsbacher (MAGernsb@wisc.edu) by Friday, February 14.


February 17
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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