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Reframing Depiction

Constructed action, classifiers/depicting verbs and partitioning with WINK

Friday, May 18, 2018

Session: “Constructed Action, Dialogue, Surrogation and the Like”
6 PM – 9 PM (.3 CEUs)

Metzger (1995) observed in the early days of sign language linguistic research that, “there seems to be general agreement that signers use their body, head, and eye gaze to report the actions, thoughts, words, and expressions of characters within the discourse” (p. 256). However, these bodily actions didn’t come with a standardized name. Some called them gestures, pantomime, and role shifting, among other things. Metzger (1995) settled on the term constructed action due to Tannen’s 1986 typology of constructed actions and dialogues.
Constructed actions are the perceived actions that one attempts to recreate in space, however, they also may be fabricated actions from the signer’s mind. Nevertheless, the actions are construed in the signer’s mind for encoding using constructed action.
Dialogue is a type of constructed action, and surrogation is often used as a more general term for both. But does the body always report actions? Or is there another layer involved? This workshop is designed to demonstrate the body’s role in ASL depiction. In addition, useful techniques will be proposed to answer such questions as: who should be surrogated, what are the types of surrogation, and how does personification play a role?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Session: “Classifiers/Depicting Verbs and Partitioning”
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (.7 CEUs)

How many classifiers/depicting verbs are there? Would you be surprised to know the list of classifiers can be simplified to only three different types? How do they work? What is going on in people’s minds when they use them? Will I ever learn how to use them!? Come and see a different approach to classifiers using a cognitive linguistics approach to understand the conceptual structures that give rise to classifier use in American Sign Language. Within this workshop focus will be given to Whole Entity constructions and how location, manner, and path are combined to construct depicting verbs. Instrument depicting verbs and Size and Shape Specifiers differ from whole entity depicting verbs. But how? One cognitive explanation can be found in what they foreground and what they background. How are these units stored in the lexicon and how are they made? In answering this question we will again turn to a cognitive explanation and will discuss one such proposal, the Analogue Building Model. In addition, we will study the body’s role with instrument classifiers constructions and how embodied experiences motivate these. Finally, we will also discuss how SaSS constructions also work with whole entity depicting verbs and how their progression through space illuminates how we perceive objects in the physical world. Analyzing how linguistic units and the conceptual perception of the world are related can help elucidate how and when to employ these items in our daily lives.

Meet our Presenter

Presenter: WinkWink — MA, MBA, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice, which he wrote about in the RID Views, Winter 2012 issue. Presenting workshops the last ten years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV, V), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. A fun fact: in 2016 alone, Wink traveled professionally enough miles to circle the earth over three times.

Registration Information

(received by 5/1/18)

2-Day Workshop Registration                 

UTK Contract Staff*_____$50

(received by 5/14/18)

2-Day Workshop Registration                 

UTK Contract Staff*_____$75

1-Day Only Registration                        

Friday Evening Only:                                         

UTK Contract Staff*____$30

1-Day Only Registration

Friday Evening Only:

UTK Contract Staff*____$40

Saturday Only:                                                            

Regular____ $80
UTK Contract Staff*____ $40

Saturday Only:                                                            

Regular____ $90
UTK Contract Staff*____ $60

Note: *Must have worked for SDS in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Note: **Must be currently enrolled in an Interpreter training program.


Seating for this workshop is limited. Register early to guarantee a seat. There will be no onsite registration available.


The location for the workshops is Dunford Hall, Room 100 (bottom floor) on the University of Tennessee campus. Parking and a shuttle from the parking lot to the office will be provided.


Friday, May 18
5 – 5:45 PM    Shuttle is open
5 – 5:45 PM    Registration
6 – 9 PM         Constructed Action & Dialogue

Saturday, May 19
7:30 – 8:15 AM          Shuttle is open
7:30 – 8:15 AM          Registration
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM  Classifiers/Depicting Verbs
12:30 – 1:30 PM        Lunch (provided)
1:30 – 4:30 PM          Partitioning


To cancel your seat in the workshop, please email Heather Webb at or call 865-974-6087.

Notification before 5/14/18:            100% refund

Notification 5/14 – 5/16:                  50% refund

Notification after 5/16:                     No refund.

 CEU’s: 1.0 Professional Studies

Target audience: Certified Interpreters, non-Certified Interpreters and Interns

For questions regarding the workshop, please contact Heather Webb at or 865-974-6087 or 865-622-6566 v/p.