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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Academic Paper

Title: 'The relation between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations'
Author: RickVan Dijk
Institution: 'Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS'
Author: IngridK.Christoffels
Institution: 'Lehigh University'
Author: AlbertPostma
Institution: 'Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS'
Author: DaanHermans
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: ''
Institution: 'Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen'
Linguistic Field: 'Psycholinguistics'
Subject Language Family: 'Sign Language'
Abstract: In two experiments we investigated the relationship between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations. In Experiment 1, we found that scores on 3-back tasks with signs and words were not related to the quality of interpreted narratives. In Experiment 2, we found that memory span scores for words and signs under oral articulatory suppression were related to the quality of interpreted narratives. We argue that the insensitivity to articulatory suppression in memory span tasks reflects the interpreters' ability to bind information from multiple sources in episodic memory. This enhanced ability leads to less reliance on the retention of information from the source language in memory during interpreting, and will positively affect the quality of interpretations (Padilla, Bajo & Macizo, 2005). Finally, in contrast to previous studies on the memory spans for signs and words (Hall & Bavelier, 2010), we found that the memory spans scores for spoken words and signs were equally large. We argue that the use of a large set of phonologically complex stimuli in the present study may have stimulated participants to use a speech-based code to store and retain the signs in short-term memory.


This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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