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March 3, 2023

1961 E Mall
Dodson Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1

Join us at the Dodson Room in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on Friday, March 3rd, 2023 from 12:00-1:00 pm for the Language Sciences Presentation featuring Dr. Kristin Snoddon. Dr. Janet Jamieson, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education will be moderating this event.

Registration for this event is required as a light lunch will be provided for in-person attendees and numbers are needed for catering. Please RSVP using the button below.


Please use the Zoom details below to attend virtually:

Zoom Link: 
Meeting ID: 688 2617 2805
Passcode: 352800

Title: Signing Songs and the Mediation of Semiotic Repertoires 


This presentation reports data from an interpretative interview study that explores a song signer’s motivations and language ideologies as they emerge in mediating between languages and modalities. Signing songs, or translating popular music into American Sign Language (ASL) and other national sign languages, remains largely underexplored as an art form and an assemblage of semiotic repertoires. Semiotic repertoires include the different communicative resources that people have access to and that emerge from people’s sensory “asymmetries”. Such resources may be acquired, lost, or never emerge over the course of the individual’s life trajectory and participation or non-participation in socio-cultural spaces. In signing songs, the limitations and proficiencies of deaf artists’ and audience members’ particular linguistic and semiotic repertoire come to the fore. The artist mediates between the affordances of music (including melody, pitch, duration, loudness, timbre, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, expression, harmony, pause, stress, articulation); song lyrics; and sign language. In so doing, they produce a distinctive text whose appreciation may expose the partial and asymmetric repertoires of audience members as well as the limitations of the text itself in crossing borders. However, these limitations and asymmetries also render song signing an ethical event.

Speaker bio: 

Kristin Snoddon, Ph.D. is Associate Professor with the School of Early Childhood Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research and professional experience include collaborative work with deaf communities in developing sign language and early literacy programming for young deaf children and their parents. Her longstanding program of research has focused on developing a parent American Sign Language curriculum that is aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Additionally, she analyzes policy issues related to inclusive education, sign language rights, and acquisition planning for ASL. Her current research focuses on sign language ideologies and ideologies of understanding. She is principal investigator for the SSHRC Insight Grant funded-project "The Institutionalization of Deaf Interpreters in Canada". 

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