Priority Grants Research Fund

Abstracts of Priority Research Project Funded for FY 2002

Ben Bahan & Dirksen Bauman
Deaf Studies
Narrative, Identity and Theory in Deaf Studies
Cynthia Neese Bailes, Carol Erting, Lynne Erting, Dan Mathis, Charles Reilly, Mala Kleinfeld, Carlene Thumann-Prezioso, and Marlon Kuntze
Education, GRI, Clerc Center
Signs of Literacy: Case Studies of Deaf Children Becoming Bilingual
Dragana Barac-Cikoja
Audiology & Speech Language Pathology
Self-monitoring during speech articulation by hard of hearing and normal hearing listeners
Patrick Brice and Talibah Buchanan
Psychology
Parental attachment representations and child attachment, self-concept, and adjustment in hearing families with deaf children
Sarah Taub, Dennis Galvan and Pilar Piñar
ASL, Linguistics & Interpretation, Psychology, Foreign Languages & Literatures
Language Gesture in Cross-Linguistic Perspective

Narrative, Identity and Theory in Deaf Studies
Ben Bahan & Dirksen Bauman

Deaf Studies

The goal of this research project: "Narrative, Identity, and Theory in Deaf Studies," is to map the field of Deaf Studies by setting up an exchange between Deaf life-stories and cultural/critical theories. By doing so we address GRI Research Priority number nine: "linguistic, socio-linguistic, anthropological, and historical students of deaf culture, sign language, and the experiences of deaf people."

This project involves two concurrent activities. The first activity involves the collection of life stories of a diverse pool of d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in a series of three rounds. The selection of individuals will be based on the relevance of their life histories to a particular facet of the Deaf community (i.e.,race, gender, age, class, disability, sexual orientation, educational background, family background, and attitude toward deafness). It is through these autobiographical narratives that cultural identity manifests itself in complex conscious and unconscious ways, thus offering fertile ground through which we may identify the patterns, consistencies and contradictions that will serve to map the landmarks and parameters of the field.

The second concurrent includes reviewing our data and existing literature in Deaf Studies to be read alongside a core set of theoretical insights from other disciplines such as, anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, disability studies, Marxism, postcolonialism and post-structuralism to facilitate and exchange that enriches both these cultural/critical theories and Deaf Studies.


Signs of Literacy: Case Studies of Deaf Children Becoming Bilingual
Cynthia Neese Bailes, Carol Erting, L. Erting, D. Mathis, C. Reilly, M. Kleinfeld, C. Thumann-Prezioso, M. Kuntze

Education, GRI, Clerc Center

This interdisciplinary, longitudinal study examines the literacy development of six diverse deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth to upper elementary and middle school years. The overall goals are to (1) describe the ASL and English literacy acquisition of six deaf and hard-of-hearing children in preschool classrooms where ASL and English are the languages of instruction, (2) to describe the pedagogy, including the philosophy, teaching strategies, and classroom literacy environments of the preschool teacher as well as the early literacy practices of the home, and (3) to trace and document the ASL and English literacy, and the academic achievement of these children. The central focus is on (1) how ASL and English literacy are acquired by individual children who differ in theoretically important ways, (2) how the parents', teachers', and children's use of ASL is linked to and supports emerging English literacy for these children, (3) how this linguistic and cultrual knowledge contributes to learning during interaction with adults and peers, and (4) how early classroom and home experiences contribute to later academic achievement. This proposal is for the first year of a three-year study of the second phase of this project.


Self-monitoring during speech articulation by hard of hearing and normal hearing listeners
Dragana Barac-Cikoja

Audiology & Speech Language Pathology

Experimental exploration of the relationship between auditory perception and speech production in hard of hearing (HOH) persons is proposed. The studies address two main issues: (1) the role of auditory self-monitoring in regulation of speech articulation; and, (2) the relationship between perceptual mechanisms that are involved in speech articulation and comprehension, respectively. Techniques for real-time manipulations of the auditory feedback during speech production have already been developed with the support of Gallaudet Research Institute Priority Research Funds. Analyses of speech under different auditory feedback conditions by HOH persons that use either hearing aid(s) or a cochlear implant are underway. In spite of significant individual differences, preliminary results reveal global similarities with normal hearing listeners, suggesting that the access to auditory information available to HOH listeners via these devices suffices to affect speech production in predictable ways. Detailed analyses of the relationship between the alterations in auditory feedback and the concomitant changes in speech production will be conducted. Also, given the novelty of some of the techniques, comparative data on normal-hearing persons will be collected. Contribution to scientific understanding of the perceptual processes involved in oral communication by HOH as well as hearing persons is expected. Findings may have relevance to speech training techniques. The results will provide a basis for a grant application to an external funding agency.


Parental attachment representations and child attachment, self-concept, and adjustment in hearing families with deaf children
Patrick Brice and Talibah Buchanan

Psychology

The primary goal of the present proposed project is to examine the relationship between attachment representations in hearing parents and development in deaf children. Adult attachment representations have been shown to be related to a variety of adjustment and mental health issues in adults, and parental attachment status has been shown to be related to child attachment status, with secure parents more likely to have secure children, and insecure parents more likely to have insecure children. The transmission of this attachment status is not well understand as of yet. There are, however, project underway that attempt to study this transmission with deaf adults and their children. The present investigation will continue to examine this transmission by studying hearing parents with deaf children. In addition, the relationship between attachment and other parent and child variables will be examined. To study this issue, 30 hearing families with deaf children will be recruited. Parents will be administered the Adult

Attachment Interview (AAI), as well as a demographic questionnaire that explores their involvement with their deaf child and communication approaches. Children will be given the Separation Anxiety Test to assess their attachment status, as well as the Self-Perception Profile for Children to measure self-concept. Lastly, the Child Behavior Checklist will be filled out by the parents for the deaf child.

Research questions include 1) is attachment status transmitted between hearing parents and deaf children? 2) what is the relationship between attachment status of hearing parents and adjustment in children? 3) a related question is whether a child's mental representations of attachment relationships is related to self-concept and adjustment. And, 4) for the present proposal, we want to find out if parental attachment status influences parental behaviors such as being involved in a child's education, spending time learning to communicate, becoming involved in Deaf culture, or seeking out services.

This project will lay the groundwork for a larger proposal encompassing a greater number of subjects from different ethnic/racial backgrounds and choosing different education programs for their children. Including a greater number of research sites will be a goal as well. The following Gallaudet priorities are addressed:

8. The family School Relationship
9. Studies of language and cultural development among deaf children


Language Gesture in Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Sarah Taub, Dennis Galvan and Pilar Piñar

ASL, Linguistics & Interpretation, Psychology, Foreign Languages & Literatures

This project's goals are to establish a corpus of speech/gesture and signing in typologically different languages (English, Spanish, and ASL) and to compare, quantitatively and qualitatively, how these languages typically express motion information. The effect of language on organization and expression of information has been debated for many years (cf. Whorf 1956, Gumperz & Levinson 1996). Taking motion events as a test case, linguists have established groupings of languages based on what information they express and their means for expressing it (Talmy 1985). These differences lead to differences in rhetorical style and total information conveyed at the narrative level (Slobin 1996). Yet overall, these studies have not looked at gesture. McNeill (1992) showed that gesture accompanying speech supplies much additional information. Comparative work should therefore focus on speech/gesture combinations; and signed languages should be compared to speech/gesture rather than speech alone (cf. Liddell 1995). Our project will thus bring signed languages into a fully universal linguistic typology.

We hypothesize that if gesture is considered, languages are approximately equivalent in amount and type of information expressed. Applications will aid translation/interpretation and second language teaching: explicit knowledge of language-specific principles for conceptual expression will enhance the current strategy of intuitive learning.

References:

  • Gumperz, J.J., & S.C. Levinson (eds.) 1996. Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Liddell, Scott K. 1995. Real, Surrogate, and Token Space: Grammatical Consequences in ASL. In K. Emmorey & J.S. Reilly, eds., Language, Gesture, And Space. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • McNeill, David. 1992. Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal About Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Slobin, Dan I. 1996. Two ways to Travel: Verbs of Motion in English and Spanish. In M. Shibitani & S. A. Thompson, eds., Essays in Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Talmy, Leonard. 1985. Lexicalization Patterns: Semantic Structure in Lexical Forms. In T. Shopen, ed., Language Typology and Syntactic Description, Vol.3: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Whorf, Benjamin L. 1956. Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, ed. John B. Carroll. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[Last modified: 2011.12.05 16:50:38. by Kevin Cole]

DISCLAIMER: This website contains documents with terms that may be considered by today's reader as outdated and even offensive. For example, the term "hearing impairment" is sometimes used as a category for levels of hearing loss, such as hard of hearing and deaf. Some people now see cultural identification and communication preference as defining characteristics behind terms such as hard of hearing and deaf, and they do not favor terms conveying medical distinctions and loss. Yet we recognize that removing and changing terms may alter the precise meaning of the scientific author. A solution may be found by expanding the scope of future research to include non-medical perspectives.
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