Calendar of Events

upcoming events



Roots, Diversity, Imagery: The Driving Force Behind Sign Language Identity
Friday, February 19
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Capturing the rapidly changing and multifaceted nature of sign language identity among its users is difficult. There are contributions from a wide spectrum of linguistic points of reference, including spoken and signed languages, as well as the gestures that accompany these languages. Each of the three panelists will offer innovative perspectives from their own work on the issue of language identity, thereby providing a lens that we can use to reflect back on a range of fields of study—literature, linguistics, psychology, to name a few. Through this exercise we want to allow participants to step outside the traditional linguistic, ethnic, and poetic subfields of sign language studies in order to discuss the “blind spots” that have remained unexplored by traditional disciplinary frameworks when speaking about sign language identity.

Unexpected routes to language: Evidence from child and adult homesign systems
Friday, February 19
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Many trajectories of emerging language systems assume the development of a conventional lexicon as a starting point, subsequent development of morphological and syntactic structure, and the possibility of never developing relatively more arbitrary structure such as phonology. Marie Coppola (University of Connecticut) will discuss three types of recent evidence from child and adult homesign systems, comparing them with early cohorts of signers of an emerging language which do benefit from a linguistic model and a linguistic community. 

Logic and Iconicity: The Case of Sign Language Loci
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris; New York University) discussed why sign language must be analyzed within a formal semantics with iconicity, one in which grammatical, logical and iconic constraints interact within a unified framework. 

Gesture Projection and Co-suppositions
Philippe Schlenker

Friday, May 8, 2015
In this workshop, Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris; New York University) argued that some co-speech gestures should be analyzed within a presuppositional framework, albeit with a twist. 

Humanities Day October 18, 2014
Diane Brentari and Peter Cook
Sign Language Poetry and Narrative
This talk provided an overview of how sign language poetry uses movements of the body and hands to create visual poetic form. We focused on the rhythm, timing, and coordination of the articulators (the two hands, the body, the head) which give form and structure to the poetic verses.

Can you quote an action? Iconic event modification in sign, speech, gesture, and writing
Kate Davidson (Yale University Cognitive Science and Linguistics)
Monday, October 13, 2014
This talk compared the well-studied type of iconicity found with verbs of quotation with another form of iconicity common in sign languages: classifier predicates.

Center for Gesture, SIgn, and Language Workshops

Spring 2014 The May 7th workshop From Gesture to Sign: the Ingredients of Language was presented by Anastasia Giannakidou.

Winter 2014 The February 28th workshop Hidden Metaphors in Gesture, Sign, and Spoken Language was presented by Daniel Cassasanto & Haun Saussy.

Autumn 2013 The November 28th workshop was presented by Anastasia Giannakidou, Susan Goldin-Meadow, and Diane Brentari.

Performance Narrative in Storytelling
March 10, 2014
Regenstein Library , Room 122
The Center for Gesture, Sign, and Language and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society presented a talk by Peter Cook (Columbia College Chicago) examining how nonverbal methods of storytelling speak equally to both deaf and hearing audiences, whether a story is told orally or through sign language. Professor Cook also demonstrated that leaving out nonverbal forms of communication diminishes the humanity of storytelling.

Hidden Metaphors in Gesture, Sign, and Spoken Language
February 28, 2014
Regenstein Library , Room 122
Professors Daniel Casasanto and Haun Saussy presented at The Center for Gesture, Sign, and Language Winter Workshop.

Fall 2013: the November 18th workshop focused on verbal gesture, i.e. on the iconic aspects of speech that might be serving the same functions as manual gesture, in spoken language and sign language. The topic highlighted similarities and differences in how language and gesture are distributed across the manual and oral modalities.