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Department of Linguistics

Ellen Foote


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Ellen Foote
Email address:
Thesis title:
Yangon Sign Language: Sociolinguistic variation, language accommodation and the construction of social identity.
Internal Supervisors

External Supervisors

Kearsy Cormier (DCAL,UCL)


Ellen graduated with a degree in Deaf Studies from the University of Bristol where she learned British Sign Language and developed an interest in the linguistics of sign languages. A SOAS Master’s scholarship enabled her to study for the MA in Language Documentation and Description at SOAS, where she followed the Language Support and Revitalization pathway in 2012-13.

Ellen continued her studies at SOAS, enrolling on a PhD in Linguistics with the aid of a Wolfson scholarship. Her research focuses on sociolinguistic variation in Yangon sign language in Burma.

PhD Research

For her PhD Ellen will document the sign language used by the Deaf community in Yangon, which exhibits a high degree of sociolinguistic variation. Her thesis focuses on gender variation, examining how this is accommodated during signed interaction and the role of variation in the construction and performance of social identity.