Emily Shaw

Associate Professor
Department of Interpretation & Translation

Emily Shaw

Phone Numbers

202-651-5719 (V)
202-250-2540 (VP)




Hall Memorial Building 1409

Emily Shaw, PhD has been a faculty member in the Department of Interpretation and Translation since 2015. Originally from Washington, D.C., she grew up in Columbus, Ohio, then trained and worked as an interpreter in Chicago, Illinois before returning to D.C. in 2005. While working as an interpreter in private practice, she received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. In her dissertation Gesture in Multiparty Interaction: A Study of Embodied Discourse in Spoken English and American Sign Language, she employs an interactional sociolinguistic approach to analyze two multiparty discourses. The study pushes further the notion that language, both spoken and signed, is fundamentally embodied. She also has worked extensively on tracing the origin of signs in ASL to French Sign Language. This work culminated in the text A Historical and Etymological Dictionary of American Sign Language co-authored with Yves Delaporte, in which they detail the etymologies of over 500 ASL signs.

Emily Shaw, PhD, CI/CT is a nationally certified ASL/English interpreter in private practice since 2001. In the Department of Interpretation and Translation, she teaches and advises graduate students in the MAI program. In addition, she has spearheaded an effort to create original video source materials for interpreting students in the department. This effort includes generating new videos, editing and cataloging files, and making them available for instructors to use with their students. Her areas of expertise include interactional sociolinguistic analyses of language (spoken and signed), etymological research, and language variation and change. 

Emily Shaw, PhD, has taught graduate courses in the Department of Interpretation and Translation, including INT 707: Structure of Language in ASL and English, INT 720: Discourse Analysis for Interpreters, INT 735: Interpreting Mental Health Discourse, INT 744: Interpreting Educational Discourse, INT 777/778: Guided Research Project I/II, INT 845: Guided Research Project. 

Emily Shaw, PhD, has interpreted in private practice since 2001, first in Chicago and then in Washington, D.C where she maintains an interpreting practice today. At Gallaudet, she represents graduate faculty on the Faculty Senate and serves as a Senate representative to the Academic Affairs Management Team. She is a member of RID, PCRID, and NBDA.  

Selected Publications


Shaw, Emily (forthcoming). Gesture in multiparty interaction. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.

Shaw, Emily & Yves Delaporte (2015). A historical and etymological dictionary of American Sign Language. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.

Articles in Refereed Journals

Shaw, Emily & Yves Delaporte (2010). New perspectives on the history of American Sign Language. Sign Language Studies11(2): 158-204.

Delaporte, Yves & Emily Shaw (2009). Gesture and signs through history. Gesture, 9:1. 35-60.


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002