Brockway to Give Linguistics Lecture on March 28

The Linguistics and Language Arts Working Group and the Department of English present “Sociolinguistics and American Sign Language: Pathways to Student Research,” a talk by Clint Brockway of Cave City. The talk will begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the UALR Campus. This event is free and open to the public, American Sign Language interpreters will be provided.

For more information, contact Dr. Jeremy Ecke at 501.569.8320 or jsecke@ualr.edu.

Brockway’s talk will focus on his research into a black variety of American Sign Language, much like the African American English that linguists have studied extensively. His work examines Black ASL (BASL) through the standard modes of linguistic study: lexicon, morphology, phonology, syntax, and semantics. The talk also includes socio-historical information that seeks to explain how this variation came to be.

Brockway, now a student in the MA: Interdisciplinary Studies Program, started this project as an independent study under the facilitation of Dr. Glenn Anderson of the Interpreter Education Program.

“I never would have thought that this one-hour credit independent study I was in would turn into a peer-reviewed publication,” says Brockway. “And now that project has become one of the building blocks of my thesis work in the interdisciplinary studies program. Just this month this type of research became even more relevant with the signing of Act 328 into law. Now Arkansas high schools are authorized to teach ASL as a foreign or modern language credit. We need even more people thinking critically about this language here in Arkansas. It is a tremendously exciting time to be involved in research on ASL.”

The talk will also highlight various resources both on and off campus that facilitate and encourage student research.

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