Trinidad and Tobago and the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights In 2013, two UWI, St Augustine linguists island-hopped across to the island of O‘ahu in Hawai‘i for the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). The theme was “Sharing Worlds of Knowledge.” We shared our knowledge on “The Diversity of Endangered Languages: Documenting three endangered languages […]Read more "Trinidad and Tobago and the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights"
It’s a strange thing about grammar that it seems either to send people to sleep, or into fits of self-righteous fury. I suspect that there’s a link between the two reactions: many of us can’t help but switch off when we find ourselves listening to or reading another rant about how the non-literal use of […]Read more "Don’t get bite by the grammar police"
In 2012, I made the short trip to Guyana to meet with members of the Deaf community in the capital, Georgetown, to see some of the work being done by a group then called Deaf in Guyana, now called the Deaf Association of Guyana (DAG), and to do some initial linguistic research. Walking through Georgetown’s beautiful botanical […]Read more "ASL around the world: A Trinidadian, an Englishman, a Nigerian and a Guyanese walk into a park in Guyana…"
The University of the West Indies, St Augustine is currently accepting applications to its Undergraduate Diploma in Caribbean Sign Language Interpreting. The programme will train people who already have some signing ability to become (better) interpreters. If you can’t sign yet, don’t worry: start now and maybe you can apply for the programme next time […]Read more "Four superhuman jobs performed by sign language interpreters in Trinidad and Tobago"
Frances Parsons, known to friends around the world as Peggie, was hit by a car and died yesterday. Peggie’s life was long and remarkable: she was instrumental in establishing the Deaf Peace Corps, she travelled around the world many times teaching and promoting deaf education, wrote several books and worked for many years at Gallaudet University. […]Read more "Peggie Parsons in Trinidad and Tobago"
Since my last post about the pseudo sign language that appeared and rapidly disappeared at Piarco Airport, an even more shocking story emerged about the fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. You can watch him in action here. Predictably, there have been unfunny jokes (the joke being essentially: “sign language looks funny, lol!”), and hasty apologies. There have been […]Read more "Signed Xhosa, double doubles, and other problems for sign language interpreters"
Not so long ago, three new metal boards appeared in the car park at Piarco Airport in Trinidad, with greetings in a variety of different languages, including French, Italian, Portuguese and (I think) Xhosa/Zulu.* They also featured braille and ‘sign language’ in what might be taken as a welcome show of inclusivity, so long as we overlook […]Read more "Myths and misconceptions about sign languages, Trinidad edition"