Lorraine Leeson

Lorraine Leeson
Trinity College Dublin | TCD · School of Linguistic Speech and Communication Sciences - Centre for Deaf Studies

PhD, MA, MPhil, Dip. Deaf Studies, Cert. Women's Studies

About

114
Publications
26,351
Reads
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708
Citations
Introduction
The Medisigns Project focuses on deaf people's access to healthcare. We are creating research led training materials to support healthcare staff, sign language interpreters and Deaf community members experience more effective communication in medical settings. www.medisignsproject.eu The Pro-Signs project is an ECML funded project that will develop curricula and assessment tools for teaching signed languages at C1-C2 level (CEFR) across Europe. www.ecml.at/F5/tabid/867/language/en-GB/
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - present
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Managing Director
September 2013 - present
Swarthmore College
Position
  • Professor
July 2001 - August 2013
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Professor
Education
January 2009 - December 2009
Trinity College Dublin
Field of study
  • Deaf Studies/Interpreting Studies/Linguistics
January 2005 - December 2005
University College Dublin
Field of study
  • Gender Studies
October 1996 - October 2001
Trinity College Dublin
Field of study
  • Linguistics

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
Foreword to the Special Issue on Irish Sign Language
Article
Full-text available
Taking a cognitive linguistic approach, this paper explores passive constructions in Irish Sign Language (ISL). Adopting Foley & Van Valin's (1984) concept of 'macroroles', we introduce the prototypical passive construction in ISL, a construction that incorporates several elements including a shift in focus from the Actor to the Undergoer, the recr...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a first snapshot of what we know about how the Irish justice system responds to deaf signers. We look specifically at engagement with An Garda Síochána, the District Court and the Irish Prison Service. We draw on a body of data that stems from (i) the European Commission funded Justisigns Project, (ii) the 'grey literature', and...
Article
Full-text available
Irish Sign Language uses a one-handed alphabet in which each fingerspelled letter has a unique combination of handshape, orientation, and, in a few cases, path movement. Each letter is used to represent a letter from the Latin alphabet (Battison, 1978; Wilcox, 1992). For ISL learners, fingerspelling is a strategy that is used to bridge lexical gaps...
Article
Full-text available
The European Language Portfolio (ELP) has been widely implemented to support the development of learner autonomy in the teaching and learning of spoken languages, but, until this study, had not been implemented with learners of sign languages. Across 2017-18, we developed and piloted a sample ELP for Irish Sign Language (ISL), which fed into work o...
Article
Cohn (2016 Cohn, N. (2016). Sequential images are not universal, or Caveats for using visual narratives in experimental tasks. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. C. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2057–2062). Cognitive Science Society. [Google Scholar]) posits two constrai...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Republic of Ireland’s National Emergency Coordinating Group performed with respect to ensuring access to emergency information for deaf sign language (SL) users over the course of two emergency situations in 2017 and 2018 as a result of storms. The storms book-ended parliamentary and public de...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The survey served to underpin our action research approach in two areas: curriculum development and pedagogy. In order to facilitate this, the survey design had the following research questions in focus: 1. To what extent is the CEFR implemented in higher education institutions that offer programs in sign language interpreting and Deaf Studies in...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we report on interview data collected from 14 Deaf leaders across seven countries (Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States) regarding their perspectives on signed language interpreters. Using a semi-structured survey questionnaire, seven interpreting researchers interviewed two...
Research
Full-text available
The PRO-Sign project set out to establish European standards for sign language proficiency for professional purposes, focusing specifically on sign language teaching in Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting programmes. The project worked with associate partners, workshop and network participants who engaged in evaluating, testing and validati...
Presentation
Full-text available
The goal of this study is to investigate the extent to which sign language Interpreter Education Programs (IEPs) in Europe include the discipline of linguistics in their interpreter education courses.
Presentation
Full-text available
Report from a survey conducted within the ECML-funded project ProSign 2.
Technical Report
Full-text available
A review of international best practice re: registration of sign language interpreters, with recommendations for the Irish context.
Article
Little is known about the nature of fingerspelling during sign language interpretation. In this small-scale, exploratory study, we examined the fingerspelling of interpreters working in five different sign languages: American Sign Language (ASL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), British Sign Language (BSL), Irish Sign Language (ISL), and Italian...
Book
Sign language in action is a term that we have coined to encompass how sign languages are used in everyday life. In Chapter 2, we framed the notion of sign language in action against the backdrop of the fields of Deaf Studies and applied linguistics and by introducing the concept of applied sign linguistics. In this chapter, we will discuss the con...
Chapter
The term Deaf Studies was coined in 1984 at the University of Bristol after the establishment of the Centre for Deaf Studies in 1978, and the first International Deaf Researchers Workshop was hosted at the same university in 1985 (Marschark & Humphries, 2010). Researchers interested in exploring the language, culture and lives of deaf sign language...
Chapter
At the end of each chapter, we have provided readers with a few suggestions for further reading. In this section, we list books that we would particularly recommend for anyone wishing to pursue research in the area of applied sign linguistics.
Chapter
Previous chapters have discussed sign language and identity, how sign language is learned and taught and how it is used in everyday life. Building on these previous chapters as a foundation, we now move to the exploration of sign language in practice in terms of communication and mediation. This chapter focuses primarily on the work of deaf and hea...
Chapter
Deaf people across many parts of the world recount stories of ‘surviving’ their education because of the lack of access to the curriculum via a sign language on the one hand, and on the other, because of the intense suppression of sign languages that existed for many decades in many countries. Indeed, in many places, this remains the status quo tod...
Chapter
There are many issues to consider regarding the acquisition of signed languages, including the critical issue of transmission of language. As we saw in Chapter 3, an estimated 90–95% of deaf children are born into hearing, non-signing families, and as a result, these children may have a haphazard route to sign language acquisition. In addition, an...
Chapter
In this final content chapter, we discuss the various steps involved in carrying out a research project in applied sign linguistics, focusing on the considerations needed in terms of research design and participant recruitment as well as analysis. Although the approaches utilised in applied sign linguistics research are the same as applied linguist...
Article
This book defines the notion of applied sign linguistics by drawing on data from projects that have explored sign language in action in various domains. The book gives professionals working with sign languages, signed language teachers and students, research students and their supervisors, authoritative access to current ideas and practice.
Poster
In 2011, President Michael D. Higgins was elected as the 9th President of the Republic of Ireland. In his inaugural speech, he outlines his goal to “serve as a symbol of Irishness of which we can all be proud”. Throughout the speech, President Higgins, code-switches between English and Ireland’s first official – but lesser used – language, Irish (G...
Chapter
In this chapter we contextualize interpreter healthcare provision in Ireland, focusing specifi cally on data collected from Irish Sign Language/English interpreters in the Republic of Ireland, data from Deaf community members, and feedback from agencies providing ISL/English interpreting services.
Book
Full-text available
A comprehensive, empirically driven, description of Irish Sign Language illustrated by the Signs of Ireland corpus.
Conference Paper
Motivations Underlying Pronoun Location in Two Signed Languages Terry Janzen, University of Manitoba Lorraine Leeson, Trinity College Dublin Barbara Shaffer, University of New Mexico To some extent, motivations for the location feature of pronouns in signed languages can be seen, as when the signer points to a referent that is present and in view...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding Pronoun Location Choice in Signed Language Discourse: Grammar, Semantics and Pragmatics Barbara Shaffer, University of New Mexico Terry Janzen, University of Manitoba Lorraine Leeson, Trinity College Dublin To some extent, motivations for the location feature of pronouns in signed languages can be seen, as when the signer points to...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper examines a critical area of interpreting research – assessment – as it pertains to the training of signed language interpreters (SLIs). The idea of testing as a wholly objective assessment of competence is problematized and issues that impact the testing cycle are teased out. These include the design and use of appropriate testing mechan...
Chapter
Full-text available
Irish Sign Language (ISL), an indigenous language of Ireland, is recognized by the European Union as a natural language. It is a language separate from the other languages used in Ireland, including English, Irish, and, in Northern Ireland, British Sign Language. Some 5,000 Deaf people use ISL. Given the history of suppression of signed languages a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Irish Sign Language (ISL), an indigenous language of Ireland, is recognized by the European Union as a natural language. It is a language separate from the other languages used in Ireland, including English, Irish, and, in Northern Ireland, British Sign Language. Some 5,000 Deaf people use ISL. Given the history of suppression of signed languages a...
Chapter
Full-text available
IRELAND MAY be unique in a European context insofar as the demand for spoken language conference interpreting has been relatively recent.1 In part this is due to our economic history: Until the 1990s, Ireland's economy was extremely depressed, and while both Irish (sometimes referred to as Gaelic) and English are official languages of Ireland, in p...
Book
1. Simultaneity in Signed Languages.: A String of Sequentially Organised Issues (by Vermeerbergen, Myriam) 2. Locative Functions of Simultaneous Perspective Constructions in German Sign Language Narratives (by Perniss, Pamela M.) 3. Conceptual Blending and the Windowing of Attention in Simultaneous Constructions in Irish Sign Language (by Leeson, L...
Chapter
This chapter challenges the reality of two related notions that are central to interpreter behavior, namely that interpreters are not actively involved in creating the discourse that they "mediate" and that they are impartial with respect to both the message and the participants in an interpreted event.1 While much has been said regarding the myth...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines the establishment of the first digital corpus of Irish Sign Language (ISL) using a software programme called ELAN. The Signs of Ireland comprises 40 signers making it the largest digital annotated corpus of a signed language in Europe. This paper describes the way in which such software enhances sign linguistic research, and out...

Network

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Projects

Projects (12)
Project
JUSTISIGNS 2 is an educational and training project created to improve access to support services in gender based violence (GBV) cases by increasing awareness and providing training to multi-agency actors who engage with victims. https://justisigns2.com
Project
SignON - Sign Language Translation Mobile Application and Open Communications Framework - will cross the language barrier between Deaf sign language users, hard of hearing and hearing people. SignON will tear down this information barrier that currently exists. https://signon-project.eu