Center for Sign Language Linguistics

DIU is excited to announce a new initiative to support research and language development in the world’s hundreds of sign languages. Working together with a consortium of deaf-focused field organizations, DIU is developing courses and degree programs that will prepare deaf and hearing students to work effectively with deaf communities in areas such as linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and translation. Currently operating as a working group within the Applied Linguistics department, four courses have already been developed.

AL4201 Principles of Sign Language Phonetics
AL5106 Digital Technology for Sign Language Research
AL5305 Principles of Sign Language Phonology
AL5310 Advanced Sign Language Grammatical Analysis

There are plans for more, leading to a Certificate in Sign Language Linguistics and a Master of Arts degree.

These and all future courses offered by the center will use a sign language (ASL or International Sign) in the classroom, with written materials in English, so that deaf and hearing students and faculty have direct communication at all times. There will also be integration with courses in other departments, providing a well-rounded and thorough preparation for supporting the language development efforts of deaf communities worldwide.

Seven current DIU adjunct faculty are working on developing this new center, with more to be added as the working group expands to become an independent center within the university:

• J. Albert Bickford, PhD, SIL International
• Beth Cook, MA
• Katelin French, MA, DOOR International
• Tamara Grosso, MA
• Stephen Jones, MA, Deaf Bible Society
• Stephen Parkhurst, MA, SIL International
• Dianne Parkhurst, SIL International

Watch the DIU website for news and developments during the 2020-2021 academic year.