Penn Science Café: ‘American Sign Language, Philly Style’

Gina Bryan | | 215-898-8721
Michele W. Berger | | 215-898-6751
Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Meredith Tamminga
Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics
Language Variation and Cognition Lab, Director
School of Arts & Sciences
University of Pennsylvania    

Jami Fisher
ASL program coordinator and lecturer
Department of Linguistics
School of Arts & Sciences
University of Pennsylvania


Penn Science Café: “American Sign Language, Philly Style”

American Sign Language in Philadelphia is anecdotally different from variations of ASL in other places, and linguists Jami Fisher and Meredith Tamminga want to know why. Through interviews with members of the local deaf community, and a collaboration with Gallaudet University, they’re working to answer questions like what differentiates Philly ASL and how scientists might better understand regional variation. Eventually, they’d like to turn what they’ve documented of this “accent” into an online, openly available resource. For this café, the researchers will discuss the project’s progress and share some of their interviews.

ASL and English interpretation will be provided.

The talk is part of the Penn Science Café free public-lecture series presented by Penn Arts & Sciences and the Office of University Communications that takes science out of the lab for a night on the town. Tamminga and Fisher’s presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A. Café events are free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Seating is limited.


Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6-7 p.m.  


World Cafe Live Upstairs, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia