Developed by Mark Halley
Competencies Addressed: Spatial Structuring; Message Coherence
Time Required for Activity: 20 mins
Objective: To learn about Spatial Structuring and Message Coherence from an ASL text.
In this video, Dr. Paul Dudis provides a short introduction to the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University.
You will watch a video in which Dr. Paul Dudis, Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet, introduces viewers to linguistics and the department. In the video, Dr. Dudis uses a number of linguistic features to make his message clear and coherent to viewers.
Watch the Video
Watch the video in its entirety. Be sure to watch with the captions and sound off. Pay special attention to how Dr. Dudis structures his comments.
- How does he use space to compare, contrast, and introduce new concepts?
- What discourse markers does he use to make his message coherent?
Take note of these features as you watch the video.
Check Your Work: Were you able to recognize some linguistic features in Dr. Dudis’ video? Here are some things you might have noted.
- 0:04 – Spoken languages on the right side of his signing space
- 0:10 – Signed languages on the left side of his signing space
- 0:37 – A baby’s development of signed language fluency moving from the left to the right side of his signing space
- 0:41 – Lowering the hands momentarily between concepts
- 0:44 – ASL and English signed slightly to the side of one another
- 1:00 – Signing about DeafBlind communities and tactile signing toward the left of his signing space after having described other signed languages (Vietnamese and Iranian Sign Language) toward the right of his signing space
- 1:15 – Looking at language (shifting toward the left side of his signing space) and applying theory (shifting toward the right side of his signing space)
- 1:36 – Applying knowledge to interpreting, signed language instruction, and language acquisition in deaf children, with each concept signed outward in an arch from the right side of his signing space.
- 1:50 – Undergraduate, MA, and PhD programs, with each academic program signed outward in an arch from the left side of his signing space.
- 1:52 – Holding the ‘D’ briefly in PhD and nodding slightly to indicate the end of that concept.
- 2:00 – Program coordination signed on the right side of his signing space and language consulting/assessment on the left side of his signing space.
- 2:17 – Lowering his hands completely to indicate the end of his comments.
Watch the Video Again
Watch the video again. See if you notice any additional features.
After you feel confident that you understand the video, try to copy sign Dr. Dudis. Pay special attention to your own use of space and discourse markers so that your signing is also clear and coherent. If you feel you are unable to sign at his speed, use YouTube’s slow motion feature. Try starting at 75% and then proceeding to normal speed.