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LIST OF PRF GRANT RECIPIENTS

PRF FY 2020

 

Dr. Julie Hochgesang
Department of Linguistics

 

Dr. Paul Dudis
Department of Linguistics

 

Dr. Emily Shaw
Department of Interpretation and Translation

 

Dr. Miako Villanueva
Department of Linguistics

NEW: FIRST YEAR

Title: A Motivated Look at Indicating Verbs in ASL

Abstract: Our three-year pilot study is inspired by a British Sign Language (BSL) corpus-based study on indicating verbs and uses of space. Indicating verbs can be directed towards present individuals or spatial representations of these individuals when they are not present. These representations are generally viewed in signed language linguistics to either be motivated by spatial relationships in the world or be purely arbitrary, lacking any spatial relationships whatsoever. The BSL study found strong preference of indicating verbs for motivated space, putting to question the actual role of arbitrary space in signed languages. Our corpus-based study addresses a similar question on the preferences of ASL indicating verbs for the use of arbitrary space and motivated space, but also considers five subtypes of motivated space (whereas the BSL study considers a single general type). Video data will be annotated for linguistic features relevant to indicating verbs and the use of space, followed by (a) statistical analysis revealing ASL indicating verb preferences and (b) a Conversation Analysis task of indicating verb tokens pinpointing possible interactional influences over indicating verb usage.


Dr. Brian Greenwald

Director, Schuchman Center
Department of History, Philosophy, Religion & Sociology


NEW: FIRST YEAR

Title: Mapping the Exclusion of Deaf People from State Sterilization Laws

Abstract: This is a three-year proposal to investigate the rationale for excluding deaf people from state sterilization laws in the United States. Why was the pathological condition of deafness initially included in model sterilization laws, only to be left out of state laws? What were the circumstances that led to this? This study seeks to examine sterilization laws in eight states (California, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, and Delaware) to gather information and determine overarching reasons that led to this. Was deafness a more privileged disability? In the final analysis, what did hearing Americans think of deaf people at the time? This study will inform us about our understanding of American values towards deaf people at a critical period in American history.

 


 

PRF FY 2019

Dr. Lori Day
Psychology

Dr. Deborah Schooler
Psychology
 
 
 
 
 
 

Second Year
Title: Attitudes Toward Working with Deaf Clinical Psychology Trainees

Abstract: Currently there is a need for deaf mental health professionals to serve deaf populations, but bias against deaf students may result in an under-representation of deaf clinicians. Anecdotal reports document deaf students’ experiences of biases from hearing supervisors. Combating this bias requires a systematic understanding of the attitudes of hearing professionals, who may be perpetrators of bias, towards working with deaf trainees. With a multi-method approach, the proposed study addresses the attitudes of hearing psychology professionals towards working with deaf trainees. First, in a survey of trainers, we will assess attitudes towards working with deaf trainees. Quantitative and qualitative analyses will be used to identify the predictors of biased attitudes. Second, we will test an intervention designed to shift attitudes towards working with deaf trainees. The intervention will be based on the literature on bias reduction, generally, and will be further informed by the results of our survey of clinical trainers. Taken together these results will strengthen our understanding of the barriers deaf students experience during their training experiences and will provide us with tools for combating discrimination.


Dr. Sherry Eyer
Psychology

Dr. Donna Morere
Psychology


Dr. Thomas E. Allen
NSF Visual Learning and Visual Language (VL2)

Dr. Ilaria Berteletti
PhD Program in Educational Neuroscience (PEN)

Third Year

Title: Language, Mathematics, Cognition, and Learning: The Extended Educational Longitudinal Study (EELS-II)

Abstract: Despite normal levels of intelligence, deaf children remain behind their hearing peers in academic achievement. Evidence highlights the importance of early language access for later academic success.  Little research tracks achievement for deaf children with a view toward identifying the role language in later cognitive and academic development. The current research will contribute basic knowledge through building on a previous longitudinal study that tracked deaf children and their emergent literacy skills from age 3 to 7.  We seek to investigate whether previously observed relationships between early language skills and emergent literacy among these children predict later literacy and numeracy outcomes. We hypothesize that the impact of language skills on early reading will persist through all stages of reading skill development and also predict cognitive skills associated with numeracy through middle school. The proposed research would follow this cohort of children for an additional three years (beginning at age 10) with math and reading assessments, and allow us to develop and test models of learning that include indicators of early visual language experience and the reading and math outcomes. Influences of home and classroom strategies on academic growth trajectories for children with different language histories and demographic backgrounds will be evaluated.


Dr. Patrick Boudreault
Interpretation and Translation

Dr. Marlon Kuntze
Government and Public Affairs

COMPLETED

Title:  Comprehension of text in ASL: Impact of linguistic complexity.

Abstract: It is important to know how ASL may be modified to match language ability of a targeted population before material may be developed for a videotext publication. Right now there is no empirical basis for determining how ASL may be linguistically manipulated for a specific comprehension level. The literature on the relationship between linguistic complexity and comprehension is broad and a lot of it is related to reading. There is limited discussion on the relationship between comprehension and linguistic complexity of ASL. A few lines of research led us to hypothesize that syntactic and morphological complexity are respectively good areas to start the investigation. One line of research comes from language development studies. For example, Morgan et al., 2002, discuss morphologically complex verbs and Slobin et al., 2003, tried to investigate the development of complexity in classifiers. Another line of research comes from the relationship between age of ASL acquisition and grammatical knowledge of ASL. (See Boudreault and Mayberry, 2006, for a summary of some of those studies). This study proposes to investigate how comprehension may be affected on the sentential level by varying the syntactic structure of two-clause sentences and the morphological complexity of classifiers.


 

Dr. Chizuko Tamaki
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences

Dr. Kristen Maul
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences

 

COMPLETED

Title: Spatial Navigation Abilities in Deaf Older Adults  With and Without Vestibular Impairment

Abstract: The purposes of this 3-year project are to: 1. develop and adapt spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools to be administered to deaf/Deaf population; 2. characterize the spatial memory and spatial navigation abilities in young adults who are deaf, with and without vestibular impairments (VI); and 3. assess the role of ASL in spatial memory and navigation abilities in older adults. Older individuals with VI may present with difficulty with spatial memory and navigation, which increases the risk of falling or wayfinding difficulties. High prevalence (54-85%) of VI in deaf population puts older deaf individuals at risk, while evidence of high visuo-spatial IQ in ASL users suggests that the spatial cognitive functions among deaf ASL users with VI may not be as affected as those among deaf non-ASL users with VI. To address purpose #1 and #2 spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools (virtual reality navigation and memory tasks, sense-of-direction questionnaire) will be normed and adapted to the young deaf adult population (ages 21-35). To address purposes #3, these spatial memory and navigation tasks are administered to subjects 60 years or older with different experiences in hearing status, ASL use, and VI.

PRF FY 2018

Dr. Sherry Eyer
Psychology


Dr. Donna Morere
Psychology


Dr. Thomas E. Allen
NSF Visual Learning and Visual Language (VL2)


Dr. Ilaria Berteletti
PhD Program in Educational Neuroscience (PEN)

NEW: FIRST YEAR

Title: Language, Mathematics, Cognition, and Learning: The Extended Educational Longitudinal Study (EELS-II)

Abstract: Despite normal levels of intelligence, deaf children remain behind their hearing peers in academic achievement. Evidence highlights the importance of early language access for later academic success.  Little research tracks achievement for deaf children with a view toward identifying the role language in later cognitive and academic development. The current research will contribute basic knowledge through building on a previous longitudinal study that tracked deaf children and their emergent literacy skills from age 3 to 7.  We seek to investigate whether previously observed relationships between early language skills and emergent literacy among these children predict later literacy and numeracy outcomes. We hypothesize that the impact of language skills on early reading will persist through all stages of reading skill development and also predict cognitive skills associated with numeracy through middle school. The proposed research would follow this cohort of children for an additional three years (beginning at age 10) with math and reading assessments, and allow us to develop and test models of learning that include indicators of early visual language experience and the reading and math outcomes. Influences of home and classroom strategies on academic growth trajectories for children with different language histories and demographic backgrounds will be evaluated.


Dr. Patrick Boudreault
Interpretation and Translation


Dr. Marlon Kuntze
Government and Public Affairs

NEW : FIRST YEAR

Title:  Comprehension of text in ASL: Impact of linguistic complexity.

Abstract: It is important to know how ASL may be modified to match language ability of a targeted population before material may be developed for a videotext publication. Right now there is no empirical basis for determining how ASL may be linguistically manipulated for a specific comprehension level. The literature on the relationship between linguistic complexity and comprehension is broad and a lot of it is related to reading. There is limited discussion on the relationship between comprehension and linguistic complexity of ASL. A few lines of research led us to hypothesize that syntactic and morphological complexity are respectively good areas to start the investigation. One line of research comes from language development studies. For example, Morgan et al., 2002, discuss morphologically complex verbs and Slobin et al., 2003, tried to investigate the development of complexity in classifiers. Another line of research comes from the relationship between age of ASL acquisition and grammatical knowledge of ASL. (See Boudreault and Mayberry, 2006, for a summary of some of those studies). This study proposes to investigate how comprehension may be affected on the sentential level by varying the syntactic structure of two-clause sentences and the morphological complexity of classifiers.


Dr. Chizuko Tamaki
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences


Dr. Kristen Maul
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences

SECOND YEAR

Title: Spatial Navigation Abilities in Deaf Older Adults  With and Without Vestibular Impairment

Abstract: The purposes of this 3-year project are to: 1. develop and adapt spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools to be administered to deaf/Deaf population; 2. characterize the spatial memory and spatial navigation abilities in young adults who are deaf, with and without vestibular impairments (VI); and 3. assess the role of ASL in spatial memory and navigation abilities in older adults. Older individuals with VI may present with difficulty with spatial memory and navigation, which increases the risk of falling or wayfinding difficulties. High prevalence (54-85%) of VI in deaf population puts older deaf individuals at risk, while evidence of high visuo-spatial IQ in ASL users suggests that the spatial cognitive functions among deaf ASL users with VI may not be as affected as those among deaf non-ASL users with VI. To address purpose #1 and #2 spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools (virtual reality navigation and memory tasks, sense-of-direction questionnaire) will be normed and adapted to the young deaf adult population (ages 21-35). To address purposes #3, these spatial memory and navigation tasks are administered to subjects 60 years or older with different experiences in hearing status, ASL use, and VI.


Dr. Cara Gormally
Science, Mathematics, and Technology

FINAL YEAR

Title: Developing positive attitudes toward science in university lab classes

Abstract: Regardless of career direction, our graduates face challenging decisions related to science. Yet most Gallaudet students, as at other colleges, take only one science course. Lab class is particularly important: there, students see and actually do science themselves. Research shows that students benefit from inquiry- based labs. In inquiry-based labs, students develop and conduct their own experiments. Students gain science literacy, knowledge, and reasoning. In addition to knowledge, however, students must develop positive attitudes toward science if we expect them to engage with scientific issues beyond the classroom. We know that students’ attitudes toward science are stronger predictors of future engagement with   science than content knowledge. This project’s goal is to investigate how inquiry-based learning impacts our students’ attitudes toward science and their science literacy development. The study focuses on Deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ experiences in inquiry-based labs, because few studies about inquiry-based learning have disaggregated demographics to know if results can be generalized across courses, institutions, or diverse student populations. The best opportunity to do this is here at Gallaudet. The project uses longitudinal comparative data from both traditional stepwise and inquiry- based labs, including surveys, quantitative assessments, and interviews. This knowledge is critical to support student engagement in science learning.

PRF FY 2017

Dr. Chizuko Tamaki
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences



Dr. Kristen Maul
Department of Hearing, Speech, & Language Sciences

Title: Spatial Navigation Abilities in Deaf Older Adults  With and Without Vestibular Impairment

Abstract: The purposes of this 3-year project are to: 1. develop and adapt spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools to be administered to deaf/Deaf population; 2. characterize the spatial memory and spatial navigation abilities in young adults who are deaf, with and without vestibular impairments (VI); and 3. assess the role of ASL in spatial memory and navigation abilities in older adults. Older individuals with VI may present with difficulty with spatial memory and navigation, which increases the risk of falling or wayfinding difficulties. High prevalence (54-85%) of VI in deaf population puts older deaf individuals at risk, while evidence of high visuo-spatial IQ in ASL users suggests that the spatial cognitive functions among deaf ASL users with VI may not be as affected as those among deaf non-ASL users with VI. To address purpose #1 and #2 spatial memory and spatial navigation assessment tools (virtual reality navigation and memory tasks, sense-of-direction questionnaire) will be normed and adapted to the young deaf adult population (ages 21-35). To address purposes #3, these spatial memory and navigation tasks are administered to subjects 60 years or older with different experiences in hearing status, ASL use, and VI.


Dr. Cara Gormally
Science, Mathematics, and Technology

Title: Developing positive attitudes toward science in university lab classes

Abstract: Regardless of career direction, our graduates face challenging decisions related to science. Yet most Gallaudet students, as at other colleges, take only one science course. Lab class is particularly important: there, students see and actually do science themselves. Research shows that students benefit from inquiry- based labs. In inquiry-based labs, students develop and conduct their own experiments. Students gain science literacy, knowledge, and reasoning. In addition to knowledge, however, students must develop positive attitudes toward science if we expect them to engage with scientific issues beyond the classroom. We know that students’ attitudes toward science are stronger predictors of future engagement with   science than content knowledge. This project’s goal is to investigate how inquiry-based learning impacts our students’ attitudes toward science and their science literacy development. The study focuses on Deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ experiences in inquiry-based labs, because few studies about inquiry-based learning have disaggregated demographics to know if results can be generalized across courses, institutions, or diverse student populations. The best opportunity to do this is here at Gallaudet. The project uses longitudinal comparative data from both traditional stepwise and inquiry- based labs, including surveys, quantitative assessments, and interviews. This knowledge is critical to support student engagement in science learning.


Dr. Terra Edwards
Department of Linguistics

Title: The Grammatical Incorporation of Pointing in Pro-Tactile American Sign Language at Gallaudet

Abstract: The broad aim of this research is to understand how routine patterns in embodied interaction can influence the grammatical organization of language. In order to achieve this aim, we will focus on the ways that pointing is incorporated into the grammar of Pro-Tactile American Sign Language (PTASL) among DeafBlind people at Gallaudet University, over a three-year period. The pro-tactile movement, which began in Seattle in 2007, is based on the idea that all human activity can be realized via touch--that hearing and vision are not necessary for such things as co-presence, navigation, social interaction, and communication. One of the implications of this view is that DeafBlind people no longer need to rely on sighted interpreters to communicate in and about their environment. Instead, they can develop practices for communicating directly with other people about the dimensions of the world that are knowable through kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory, and thermal senses. Building on prior work in the Seattle Deafblind community and informed by research about pointing and deictic systems in both spoken and signed languages, we predict that the pro-tactile movement will lead DeafBlind people at Gallaudet to point to objects and events in the immediate environment in new ways, and that pointing will be integrated with the grammar to yield linguistic forms, patterns and processes that are not found in American Sign Language. This project promises to generate new knowledge about pointing in tactile signed languages, and in doing so, provide insights about how embodied interaction can influence language structure.


Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler
Department of Linguistics

Dr. Mary Thumann
Department of Linguistics

Title: L2 Acquisition of ASL in M1 and M2 Context

Abstract: We are proposing a longitudinal study of the acquisition of ASL as a second language, including both hearing (M1) and Deaf (M2) learners. There has recently been a surge in research interest on the acquisition of sign language as a second language. However, the data from recent publications come from sign<naïve subjects who are not actually learning a sign language. Furthermore, little research exists on L2 sign acquisition by Deaf learners who have already acquired an L1 sign language. The proposed study follows actual M1 and M2 L2 learners before and after their first intensive ASL class, documenting their lexical, phonological and syntactic development at the very beginning stages of L2 acquisition of ASL. We will run a small battery of linguistic tests on students just prior to, and at the end of 2< week summer PST courses held at Gallaudet. This will yield a modest body of data from which we can test claims from the recent L2 (sign and spoken) literature, and eventually compare against sign acquisition patterns from M1L2 learners, to be collected the following summer. Analysis of these data will allow exploration of the role of modality in L2 learning for both experienced and inexperienced signers, and pedagogical implications for different types of learners (M1F vs. M2; spoken language L2 vs. sign language L2).

PRF FY 2016

Dr. Cara Gormally
Science, Mathematics, and Technology

Title: Developing positive attitudes toward science in university lab classes

Abstract: Regardless of career direction, our graduates face challenging decisions related to science. Yet most Gallaudet students, as at other colleges, take only one science course. Lab class is particularly important: there, students see and actually do science themselves. Research shows that students benefit from inquiry- based labs. In inquiry-based labs, students develop and conduct their own experiments. Students gain science literacy, knowledge, and reasoning. In addition to knowledge, however, students must develop positive attitudes toward science if we expect them to engage with scientific issues beyond the classroom. We know that students’ attitudes toward science are stronger predictors of future engagement with   science than content knowledge. This project’s goal is to investigate how inquiry-based learning impacts our students’ attitudes toward science and their science literacy development. The study focuses on Deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ experiences in inquiry-based labs, because few studies about inquiry-based learning have disaggregated demographics to know if results can be generalized across courses, institutions, or diverse student populations. The best opportunity to do this is here at Gallaudet. The project uses longitudinal comparative data from both traditional stepwise and inquiry- based labs, including surveys, quantitative assessments, and interviews. This knowledge is critical to support student engagement in science learning.


Dr. Terra Edwards
Department of Linguistics

Title: The Grammatical Incorporation of Pointing in Pro-Tactile American Sign Language at Gallaudet

Abstract: The broad aim of this research is to understand how routine patterns in embodied interaction can influence the grammatical organization of language. In order to achieve this aim, we will focus on the ways that pointing is incorporated into the grammar of Pro-Tactile American Sign Language (PTASL) among DeafBlind people at Gallaudet University, over a three-year period. The pro-tactile movement, which began in Seattle in 2007, is based on the idea that all human activity can be realized via touch--that hearing and vision are not necessary for such things as co-presence, navigation, social interaction, and communication. One of the implications of this view is that DeafBlind people no longer need to rely on sighted interpreters to communicate in and about their environment. Instead, they can develop practices for communicating directly with other people about the dimensions of the world that are knowable through kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory, and thermal senses. Building on prior work in the Seattle Deafblind community and informed by research about pointing and deictic systems in both spoken and signed languages, we predict that the pro-tactile movement will lead DeafBlind people at Gallaudet to point to objects and events in the immediate environment in new ways, and that pointing will be integrated with the grammar to yield linguistic forms, patterns and processes that are not found in American Sign Language. This project promises to generate new knowledge about pointing in tactile signed languages, and in doing so, provide insights about how embodied interaction can influence language structure. 


Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler
Department of Linguistics



Dr. Mary Thumann
Department of Linguistics

Title: L2 Acquisition of ASL in M1 and M2 Context

Abstract: We are proposing a longitudinal study of the acquisition of ASL as a second language, including both hearing (M1) and Deaf (M2) learners. There has recently been a surge in research interest on the acquisition of sign language as a second language. However, the data from recent publications come from sign<naïve subjects who are not actually learning a sign language. Furthermore, little research exists on L2 sign acquisition by Deaf learners who have already acquired an L1 sign language. The proposed study follows actual M1 and M2 L2 learners before and after their first intensive ASL class, documenting their lexical, phonological and syntactic development at the very beginning stages of L2 acquisition of ASL. We will run a small battery of linguistic tests on students just prior to, and at the end of 2< week summer PST courses held at Gallaudet. This will yield a modest body of data from which we can test claims from the recent L2 (sign and spoken) literature, and eventually compare against sign acquisition patterns from M1L2 learners, to be collected the following summer. Analysis of these data will allow exploration of the role of modality in L2 learning for both experienced and inexperienced signers, and pedagogical implications for different types of learners (M1F vs. M2; spoken language L2 vs. sign language L2).







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Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002