RESEARCH AIMS: The purpose of this study is to explore Language and Gender in American Sign Language (ASL) expressing the female masculinity. In the approach of Linguistic Anthropology, the research project is designed to gather data and analyze the presentation style of a particular group, masculine women, who are Deaf or native signer.
1. What are the general marking of masculine (in the woman category) signings?
2. What is the masculine women's paradigm of feminine signs?
3. Do they acknowledge their signing style all the time? If no, when do they notice the gender difference of a signer or themselves?
4. Do the masculine women change their
prosody tone/intonation with a variation of audience?
This study uses the term "masculine women" as the category of the research subjects. Yes, it is sometimes awkward to find the appropriate term without discomforting anyone. In the continuum of the gender identity between femininity and masculinity, the research will focus on the women on the far end of masculinity. Their sexuality is not focused here; thus, they will not be mentioned as any alternative label--such as butch lesbians, dykes, studs, or else. The subjects will include heterosexual tomboys and girl-jocks, so all women of any sexual background are welcomed but of specified gender category with the presence of masculinity. Simultaneously, they need to be native signers as well.
As a native signer, the researcher finds it difficult to settle on a single sign for "masculine" without making any establishment or compounded sign. There are several variations for that sign. The most popular sign for that word resembles to "MACHO" or "BUTCH." If it was to be transliterate in writing, it does not seem appropriate to write "...sign language, focused on MACHO women." Would it?
KEY SIGN: An initiation is a conduct of filtering and determining the research subjects if they fit to the ideal "masculine woman" to participate the linguistic survey. The individual will be asked to several elicited signs. Some illustrations of the specific variation is coming soon to show what is sought.
Continue to the second page of Research Design: the rough outline of METHODOLOGY
**—All this is in its preliminary stages of research project so the researcher is eager to hear any feedback.