Linguistics of Signed Languages
The Department of Linguistics at The University of Texas at Austin has a long tradition of supporting advanced research on the linguistics of signed languages. That research has concerned the experimental phonetics of signed languages, various aspects of the grammar of signed languages, the sociolinguistics of signing communities, and the acquisition of signed languages as first languages. The research conducted here has examined not only ASL, but also Mexican, Spanish, Japanese, and German Sign Languages.
There is no particular sequence of courses that is required for all students who wish to study the linguistics of signed languages. Instead, if the student is interested in studying the acquisition of signed languages,, he or she would be expected to complete coursework that is appropriate to work in first language acquisition. Likewise, if a student is interested in the syntax of signed languages, he or she would be advised to take the same program of courses as other students in syntax. On a regular basis, the Department does offer a seminar (LIN 393) on the linguistics of signed languages.
Graduate students who are interested in the linguistics of signed languages, but who do not have a strong background in ASL, should plan on completing the sequence of undergraduate language courses in ASL that are offered by the Department's ASL language program.
Graduate students who have a high degree of fluency in ASL may be offered the opportunity of teaching in the ASL language program.