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Abstract

Little is know about the characteristics of fluent hearing signers and their ultimate attainment of ASL as a second language. To address this, a study was conducted with 12 ASL-English interpreters who were native English speakers to examine their use of ASL while interpreting. Each subject was asked to simultaneously interpret a short English narrative into ASL and a panel of three Deaf native signers assessed their fluency. Though the group included both novice and expert interpreters, the results revealed many similarities in their work. These included a reduction in pronouns between the English source and ASL target text, the use of the ASL sign FEEL to represent the English word “think,” and avoidance of the use of AND as a translation equivalent for the English “and.” Using Corder’s (1971) conceptualization of a social dialect, the similarities noted in the ASL target texts of this group would suggest that there may be a hearing dialect of ASL while interpreting.

 

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