Phyllis Wilcox
Professor, Emerita

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Phyllis Perrin Wilcox founded the UNM Signed Language Interpreting Program and is now Professor Emeritus. Her research interests focus on cross-linguistic analysis of metaphor and metonymy in various signed languages, and the education of interpreters. She has written on ‘thought and communication domains’ of various signed languages.

Phyllis is Vice President of the Board of the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education, and also serves as adjudicator for the Ethical Practices System under the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.

Educational History

Ph.D.: Metaphor in American Sign Language. Passed with Distinction. Directed by Vera Johns-Steiner. University of New Mexico

M.S.: Special Education, Emphasis in Deaf Education, Eastern New Mexico University.

B.A.: Sociology. Southeastern Louisiana University

Research Interests

Analysis of metaphor and metonymy in signed languages; ethical practices in interpreting

interpreter education; semantics of signed languages

Selected Publications

ilcox, S., & Wilcox, P. P. (2013). Cognitive linguistics and signed languages. International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics, 3(2).

Marty Carlson, Jill P. Morford, Barbara Shaffer & Phyllis Perrin Wilcox. “The Educational Linguistics of Bilingual Deaf Education.” In Francis M. Hult (ed.), Directions and prospects for educational linguistics. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag Publishing Company. 2010.

Phyllis Perrin Wilcox and Sherman Wilcox. “The Analysis of Signed Languages.” In B. Heine & H. Narrog (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford University Press. 2010.

Contributing Editor for special issue: Signed Language Studies, Vol. 5(2). Gallaudet University Press, Wash., D.C. (Authors: M. Brennan; M. Jarque; T. Russo; A. Wulf and P. Dudis; P. Wilcox). Spring, 2005.

Phyllis Perrin Wilcox. Metaphor in American Sign Language. Gallaudet University Press. Wash., D.C.

Phyllis Perrin Wilcox. “Constructs of the Mind: Cross-linguistic Contrast of Metaphor in Spoken and Signed Languages.” In E. Pizzuto, P. Pietrandrea & R. Simone (Eds.), Verbal and Signed Languages: Comparing structures, constructs and methodologies. Mouton de Gruyter. Berlin/New York. 249–270. 2007.

Phyllis Perrin Wilcox. Invited article. “A Cognitive Key: Metonymic and Metaphorical Mappings in American Sign Language.” Special issue on signed language research. Cognitive Linguistics, 15(2). 197–222. 2004.

Phyllis Wilcox. “Dual Interpretation and Discourse Effectiveness in Legal Settings.” Special Issue: The Bilingual-Bimodal Courtroom. Journal of Interpretation, 7(1). 89–98. 1995.

Selected conference presentations

Invited. “Building a Legacy: Interpreter Education Program Accreditation. (With CCIE Commissioners) 50th Anniversary Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf National Conference. Indiana, Indianapolis. August, 2013.

”Building An Interpreting Program.” ”Educating Professional Sign Language Interpreters in the Academy.” Thirteenth International Conference on Disability and Rehabilitation. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. March, 2009.

Invited Speaker. “Substantiation of Metonymy in American Sign Language.” German Linguistic Society. Bamberg, Germany. February, 2008.

Refereed. “Head Nods, Head Shifts, Head Thrusts: Metaphorical Cognition of Discourse Markers in American Sign Language.” With Keith Cagle. International Cognitive Linguistics Association. Krakow, Poland. July 20, 2007.

Invited. Summer teaching. Five day educational training. Theoretical discussions on visuality in signed languages, specifically in areas of modality, iconicity, classifiers, and metaphor. Taught in British Sign Language. Heriot-Watt University. Edinburgh, Scotland. June 5–9, 2006.

Invited. “Metaphorical Identification in American Sign Language” (2 workshops); “Metaphor in American Sign Language” (lecture). American Sign Language Teachers Association & Seattle Central Community College. Seattle, WA. October 10 - 11, 2003. (All three presented in ASL).

Refereed. Metaphorical Identification Through Iconic and Metaphoric Contrast: American Sign Language and Catalan Sign Language.” 4th International Conference on Researching and Applying Metaphor. Tunisia, Africa. April 5–7, 2001.

Refereed. “Visual Metaphorical and Metonymic Conceptualization in Two Signed Languages: ASL and LSC.” With M.J. Jarque. Paper presented at the 7th International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. July 21–27, 2000.

Invited. “Metaphorical Mapping in American Sign Language.” Guest Speaker for educational lecture at University of Zurich, Switzerland. July 11, 1997. (Presented in ASL)

Awards, or Awards and Grants

Honored with endowment of “Phyllis Perrin Wilcox Scholarship”, 2009.

“Teacher of the Year”. Awarded by UNM. 1998.

Selected representative grants

Consortium Site for RSA Region VI. Interpreter Education Project for Individuals Who are Deaf and Individuals Who are Deaf-Blind: UNM Proposal No. 121-004/4301. #H160A50023. RSA Region VI In-Service. $2,500, 1996; $4,000, 1997; $3000, 1999; $3000, 2000; $3000, 2001; $3,000, 2003–2004. $3,500. 2005–2006.

Research Allocations Committee Grant Award. “Tunisian Sign Language and American Sign Language: Metaphorical and Metonymic Mappings in the Mental Domain.” University of New Mexico. $3483. Awarded February, 2001.

Principal Investigator. National Science Foundation grant. Total: $142,268. "Linguistic Training for Signed Language Interpreters." 1994. J. Bybee & S. Wilcox, Co-PIs. Second year of funding ($49,894). April, 1995.

Principal Investigator. "Community Service Expansion Grant to Expand an Interpreter Referral and Information Center. New Mexico Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Awarded $100,000. 1992.

Teaching Interests

Representative Courses

LING 490-590. Topics – Metaphor in Signed and Spoken Languages

SIGN 360. Introduction to Interpreting

SIGN 212. Fingerspelling

SIGN 629. Freshman Learning Communities/ Team taught: English Composition& Signed Language