Lori Whynot

Lori Whynot


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Lori A. Whynot, PhD joined the faculty in the Department of Interpretation and Translation in 2016, bringing diverse experiences from a professional interpreting practice in the US that began in 1990 in Boston Massachusetts and led her to several countries and eventually to Melbourne Australia in 2011. While in Australia, she earned her PhD in Linguistics at Macquarie University in 2015. Her doctoral dissertation was novel inquiry into the sociolinguistics of International Sign comprehension and meaning-making structures in presentation-style International Sign (IS). It was published in 2016 by Gallaudet University Press, as "Understanding International Sign"  (See 2018 LSA review here). She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women's Studies from Brandeis University and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, with a thesis topic related to Interpreting as Ethnography given a multicultural society. She is the author of one book, two book chapters, and co-authored an article on Australian sign language translation standards. 

Dr. Whynot was invited in to the Massachusetts Deaf community in 1986 where she acquired ASL and interpreting from community mentors; she has taught and mentored interpreters since 1995. She is a past-president of MassRID (1998-2000). Between 2006-2010 she lived in San Diego, California and served the San Diego County Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (SDCRID), receiving a National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) grant to establish a mentorship program that included Deaf and hearing interpreters.  In 2013-2014, she lead a committee of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association (ASLIA) on Deaf Interpreter issues and worked with the National Authority on the Accreditation of Interpreters and Translators (NAATI) to establish the official recognition and qualification of Deaf Interpreters in Australia.

Lori A. Whynot, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interpretation and teaches, advises students, and actively maintains a professional interpreting practice in the local community in Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia and in other states and internationally.  She specializes in medical, legal, and conference settings, and has breadth of experience in government, higher education, and international settings.

During the recent academic year (18-19) she was on a research fellowship investigating cross-linguistic sign language contact phenomena and effectiveness of International Sign interpreting at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

In 2016, she served on the organizing committee of the 12th Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Interpreting and co-coordinated an international team of interpreters for the conference. Dr. Whynot has trained with Dr. Robyn Dean to provide professional supervision and facilitates reflective practice sessions with working interpreters. She co-presented on the topic at the 2014 First International Symposium on Signed Language Interpretation and Translation Research at Gallaudet University with Australian colleagues and uses the theory to teach practice classes to Gallaudet Interpreting students. Her areas of expertise and interest include cognitive and sociolinguistic aspects of interpreting, multilingualism and sign language contact phenomena, semantics,  Deaf/hearing teams, consequence-based ethics, and health care interpreting.  

Dr. Whynot holds a Certification of Interpretation (CI), Certification of Transliteration (CT), and Specialist certification: Legal (SC: L) in ASL- English from RID in the USA and an Auslan- English interpreting accreditation from the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) in Australia. She is a certified CoreCHI healthcare interpreter by the US Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. Her working languages are English, ASL, Auslan, the contact signing strategy known as International Sign, and French (C language).

Lori A. Whynot, PhD teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Interpretation and Translation, including Interpreting Medical Discourse, History of Interpreting, Discourse Analysis, Professional Practice II, Fundamentals of Interpreting, and Interpreting Interactions:Translation & Consecutive Interpreting. She has previously taught ASL and Auslan Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Semantics and Sociolinguistics, Interpreting fieldwork and various interpreting skills courses during teaching appointments at other universities and colleges in the US and Australia.

Dr. Whynot advises Master's student research projects and currently serves on three PhD students' dissertation committees.

Lori A. Whynot, PhD actively continues her 3 decade interpreting practice locally and internationally.  At Gallaudet, she has served on the Council of Graduate Education (CGE) on the Diversity Adhoc Committee and contributes to curriculum transformation in the Department of Interpretation and Translation.

She is a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), Sign Language Linguistics Society (SLLS), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Potomac Chapter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PCRID),the Australian Sign Language Interpreter Association (ASLIA), the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), and World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI). She is also an active member of a professional group of legal interpreters in Washington DC. She is committed to promoting continuous professional development and support to shape the work and influence social justice on behalf of Deaf members of the community. 


Whynot, L. (2016). Understanding International Sign: A Sociolinguistic Study. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Book Chapters:

Whynot, L. (2016). Telling, Showing, and Representing: Conventions of Lexicon, Depiction, and Metaphor in International Sign expository text, In R. Rosenstock & J. Napier (Eds). International Sign: Linguistics, Usage, and Status. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 

Whynot, L. (2013). Mentorship as a Career Philosophy. In E. Winston & R. Lee (Eds.), Mentorship in Sign Language InterpretingAlexandria, VA: RID Press.

Published Research Reports:

Hodge, G., Goswell, D., Whynot, L., Linder, S. & Clark, C. (2015). What Standards? The need for evidence-based Auslan translation standards and production guidelines, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney.

Journal articles:

Nicodemus, B., Whynot, L., Kushalnagar, P. (forthcoming). Insights from U.S. deaf patients: Interpreters’ presence and receptive skills matter in patient-centered communication care. Journal of Interpretation.

Whynot, L. (2017). The Benefits of Research on Learning and Practice: Thoughts from the 2017 Symposium on Interpretation and Translation. International Journal of  Interpreter Education. Vol 9 (1) pp. 57-60.


Whynot, L. (2000). The Mutual Relevance of Ethnography and Interpreting. In Proceedings of the 16th National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the       Deaf.  Silver Spring, MD: RID Publications.

Conference Papers:

Börstell, Carl, Onno Crasborn & Lori Whynot. Accepted. Measuring Lexical Similarity across Sign Languages in Global Signbank. In Mayumi Bono, Eleni Efthimiou, Stavroula-Evita Fotinea, Thomas Hanke, Julie Hochgesang, Jette Kristoffersen, Johanna Mesch (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Sign Language Resources in the Service of the Language Community, Technological Challenges and Application Perspectives [Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC)], xxx–xxx. Marseille: European Language Resources Association (ELRA). [ pdf | bib ]

Börstell, C. Crasborn, O., Whynot, L. (2019).True friends or false friends? Lexical similarity for predicting cross-signing success. Conference paper. Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 13, Hamburg, Germany.

Whynot, L. (2019) Interpreting academic lecture through multi-lingual, multi-modal language mixing. Conference paper. World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Paris, France.

DeWit, M., Whynot, L. Nana Gassa Gonga, A. Crasborn, O. (2019). Interpreting into international sign: collaboration within a variety of interpreter teams by means of linguistic and other communicative strategies. Conference paper. World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Paris, France.

Whynot, L. (2017). Empathy, vicarious trauma, and managing personal/professional boundaries in healthcare interpreting. What's Up Doc: Proceedings of the 2017 Conference of the European Forum Of Sign Language Interpreters (Efsli). Toulouse, France.

Whynot, L. (2017). Accessing academic lecture through interpreted, mixed language contact signing: A Case Study.  Proceedings of the 21st World Congress of the International Federation of Translators (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs, FIT). Brisbane, Australia.

Hodge G., Goswell. D.,  Whynot, L.,  Linder, S., &  Clark, C. (2017). New standards for a new era: Community and evidence-driven guidelines for online Auslan translations. The 2017 Symposium on Signed Language Interpretation and Translation Research. Washington, DC.

Whynot, L. (2016.) Sign type distribution in expository International Sign contact. Conference Poster. Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 12, Melbourne Australia.

Whynot L. (2014). Keynote Presentation:  Globalization, not global warming: A different kind of climate change impacting sign language interpreters. Sign Language Interpreter Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) national conference. Auckland, New Zealand.

Whynot, L. (2014). Promoting Consequence-Based Ethics through Reflective Practice. Sign Language Interpreter Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) National Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Whynot, L. (2012).  From the Horse’s Mouth: Identifying Factors for Effective Health Care Interpreting Practice by ASL Interpreters in Two Urban Cities; National Healthcare Interpreting Symposium, St Catherine’s College CATIE Center, St. Paul Minneapolis.

Whynot, L. (2011) International Signs: Walking the tightrope of cross-linguistic contact. The 2011 ASLIA National Conference, Sydney, Australia.

Whynot, L. (1999). The Mutual Relevance of Ethnography and Interpreting. The Sixteenth National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)Convention. Boston, MA.

Whynot, L. (1999) Exploring Racism in the Interpreting Profession. The Sixteenth National RID Convention, Boston, MA 


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002