The principal purpose of this study was to investigate the short term auditory storage and retrieval abilities of skilled interpreters for the deaf.

It was assumed that the task of interpreting spoken English to ASL involved short term auditory storage, the efficacy of which was related to chunking abilities of the listener.

Three groups often subjects each made up the sample population. Group A was composed of individuals with interest in but limited knowledge of sign language. Group B was composed of individuals with no knowledge of sign language. Group C was composed of individuals holding the Comprehensive Skills Certificate from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Free-recall short term storage tasks were utilized to evaluate recall efficiency of the sample groups for familiar and unfamiliar information. English proverbs were used for the familiar stimuli, and novel sentences generated from the proverbs were used for the unfamiliar stimuli.

Results indicate that skilled interpreters perform efficiently on recall tasks involving conceptually accurate recall of novel sentences. The results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that skilled interpreters for the hearing impaired are efficient chunkers of linguistic information. A discussion of the results and needs for further research is presented.