Skip to content

Director of the American Sign Language & Interpreting Education Program; Teaching Professor of Interpreting

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Dr. Lori Whynot brings diverse experiences from a 30-year professional interpreting practice that began in Boston and led her to several countries and eventually to Melbourne Australia in 2011. She has ties to the Northeastern community as a former student and an adjunct lecturer. Dr. Whynot began to learn ASL in the Massachusetts Deaf community in 1986 and has taught and mentored interpreters since 1995. She received an Australian international research excellence scholarship and earned her PhD in Linguistics at Macquarie University in 2015, publishing her doctoral study in 2016 with Gallaudet University Press, as “Understanding International Sign”. While in Australia, she lead a committee of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association (ASLIA), advising the National Authority on the Accreditation of Interpreters and Translators (NAATI) to establish national recognition and qualification of Deaf Interpreters in Australia. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Lori was a faculty member at Gallaudet University, Washington DC, in the Department of Interpretation and Translation and did a research fellowship at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, investigating cross-linguistic sign language contact phenomena and the effectiveness of International Sign interpreting. Dr. Whynot maintains her national certifications in the US as a professional interpreter and a legal interpreter, as well as Auslan- English interpreting accreditation from the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) in Australia. She is also a certified CoreCHI healthcare interpreter by the US Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. Her working languages are English, ASL, Auslan, the contact system known as International Sign, and French (C language). Dr. Whynot is committed to promoting continuous professional development to shape interpreting work and influence social justice on behalf of Deaf citizens through her research, teaching, and maintaining a professional interpreting practice. Her areas of expertise include cognitive and sociolinguistic aspects of interpreting, corpus-informed and ethnographic research methods, multilingualism and sign language contact phenomena, consequence-based ethics, and health care interpreting. She has lived and worked in France, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia, where she considers Melbourne her second home. When not interpreting, teaching, or researching, you can find Lori on her bicycle, taking in the New England scenery.

2011 Macquarie University International Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (iMQRES) Higher Degree Research
2007 National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Mentorship Grant to establish a regional professional interpreter/translator mentoring
1998 Intercultural Relations Masters Program Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Study, Lesley University- Graduation Class Speaker.
1992 Pride in Performance; Massachusetts State Governor’s Award for Outstanding Public Service.


Whynot, L. (2016). Understanding International Sign: A Sociolinguistic Study. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Book Chapters:

Whynot, L. (2016). Telling, Showing, and Representing: Conventions of Lexicon, Depiction, and Metaphor in International Sign expository text, In R. Rosenstock & J. Napier (Eds). International Sign: Linguistics, Usage, and Status. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Whynot, L. (2013). Mentorship as a Career Philosophy. In E. Winston & R. Lee (Eds.), Mentorship in Sign Language Interpreting. Alexandria, VA: RID Press.

Published Research Reports:

Hodge, G., Goswell, D., Whynot, L., Linder, S. & Clark, C. (2015). What Standards? The need for evidence-based Auslan translation standards and production guidelines, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney.

Journal articles:

Nicodemus, B., Whynot, L., & Kushalnagar, P. (2020) “Insights from U.S. deaf patients: Interpreters’ presence and receptive skills matter in patient-centered communication care, “Journal of Interpretation: Vol. 28 (2).

Whynot, L. (2017). The Benefits of Research on Learning and Practice: Thoughts from the 2017 Symposium on Interpretation and Translation. International Journal of Interpreter Education. Vol 9 (1) pp. 57-60.


Whynot, L. (2000). The Mutual Relevance of Ethnography and Interpreting. In Proceedings of the 16th National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Silver Spring, MD: RID Publications.

Conference Papers:

Börstell, Carl, Onno Crasborn & Lori Whynot. Accepted. Measuring Lexical Similarity across Sign Languages in Global Signbank. In Mayumi Bono, Eleni Efthimiou, Stavroula-Evita Fotinea, Thomas Hanke, Julie Hochgesang, Jette Kristoffersen, Johanna Mesch (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Sign Language Resources in the Service of the Language Community, Technological Challenges and Application Perspectives [Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC)], xxx–xxx. Marseille: European Language Resources Association (ELRA). [ pdf | bib ]

Börstell, C. Crasborn, O., Whynot, L. (2019).True friends or false friends? Lexical similarity for predicting cross-signing success. Conference paper. Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 13, Hamburg, Germany.

Whynot, L. (2019) Interpreting academic lecture through multi-lingual, multi-modal language mixing. Conference paper. World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Paris, France.

DeWit, M., Whynot, L. Nana Gassa Gonga, A. Crasborn, O. (2019). Interpreting into international sign: collaboration within a variety of interpreter teams by means of linguistic and other communicative strategies. Conference paper. World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Paris, France.

Whynot, L. (2017). Empathy, vicarious trauma, and managing personal/professional boundaries in healthcare interpreting. What’s Up Doc: Proceedings of the 2017 Conference of the European Forum Of Sign Language Interpreters (Efsli). Toulouse, France.

Whynot, L. (2017). Accessing academic lecture through interpreted, mixed language contact signing: A Case Study. Proceedings of the 21st World Congress of the International Federation of Translators (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs, FIT). Brisbane, Australia.

Hodge G., Goswell. D., Whynot, L., Linder, S., & Clark, C. (2017). New standards for a new era: Community and evidence-driven guidelines for online Auslan translations. The 2017 Symposium on Signed Language Interpretation and Translation Research. Washington, DC.

Whynot, L. (2016.) Sign type distribution in expository International Sign contact. Conference Poster. Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 12, Melbourne Australia.

Whynot L. (2014). Keynote Presentation: Globalization, not global warming: A different kind of climate change impacting sign language interpreters. Sign Language Interpreter Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) national conference. Auckland, New Zealand.

Whynot, L. (2014). Promoting Consequence-Based Ethics through Reflective Practice. Sign Language Interpreter Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) National Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Whynot, L. (2012). From the Horse’s Mouth: Identifying Factors for Effective Health Care Interpreting Practice by ASL Interpreters in Two Urban Cities; National Healthcare Interpreting Symposium, St Catherine’s College CATIE Center, St. Paul Minneapolis.

Whynot, L. (2011) International Signs: Walking the tightrope of cross-linguistic contact. The 2011 ASLIA National Conference, Sydney, Australia.

Whynot, L. (1999). The Mutual Relevance of Ethnography and Interpreting. The Sixteenth National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)Convention. Boston, MA.

Whynot, L. (1999) Exploring Racism in the Interpreting Profession. The Sixteenth National RID Convention, Boston, MA

  • Education

    PhD, Linguistics
    Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

  • Contact

    (617) 373-3064 Voice / VP: (857) 366-4204 Website Twitter
  • Address

    415 Meserve Hall

  • Office Hours

    By appointment