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Wayne A. Danielson Award Presentation and Lecture – Professor Karen Emmorey
April 13, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT
The Wayne A. Danielson Award recognizes scholars who have made a significant contribution to the understanding of communication. Created in 1991, it honors Professor Emeritus Wayne Danielson for his contributions to the Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, and the field of communication.
The Moody College of Communication is proud to announce Professor Karen Emmorey of San Diego State University as the 2021 Danielson Award winner. Moody faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend her virtual award presentation and lecture, description below.
The signing brain: What sign languages tell us about human language
Sign languages and the deaf and hearing people who use them have taught us a tremendous amount about the neurobiology of language. Only by studying sign languages can we understand what is universal to all human languages and what properties depend on the auditory-vocal or visual-manual modalities. Further, some questions are best answered with sign languages, such as whether iconicity (motivated form-meaning mappings) impacts neural representation or processing. Bimodal bilinguals (those who know a spoken and a signed language) offer unique insights into language representation and control because their two languages do not share phonological features or an orthography. Deaf bilinguals also provide insights into the neurobiology of reading because they reveal alternative paths to skilled reading. This talk highlights some of what we have learned about language through sign language research and what exciting questions remain.
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