Sign Language in Göttingen
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Workshop "Nonmanuals at the Gesture Sign Interface (NaGSI)", October 9-10, 2015, University of Göttingen
In the last 10-15 years, research on sign languages has shown an increasing interest in nonmanual articulators. Nonmanuals express a variety of important linguistic functions and they play a crucial role at all levels of the grammar of sign languages. In this workshop, we will bring together scholars interested in formal and functional properties of nonmanuals at the interface between gesture and language in spoken and sign languages.

Workshop "Current trends in international researches in Deaf Studies and Sign Languages Linguistics", 13th July 2015, University of Göttingen
In the last 50 years, research on Sign Languages has been increasing steadily. Since around the millennium, studies on Sign Languages and Deaf Cultures (communities, values, networks, spaces) have become broader thereby also collaborating with neighboring scientific disciplines such as anthropology, cultural studies, neuroscience, computer sciences, and literature studies. A particularly interesting and important development in Sign Language Linguistic is the design of new experimental and elicitation methods, which lead to a more professional and sustainable empirical basis in this field. In addition, new developments in Deaf Studies broaden the perspective and focus on deaf ontologies and deaf epistemologies, deaf experiences and deaf spaces. This workshop brings together researchers from Sign Language Linguistics and Deaf Studies from Belgium, Brazil and Germany and discusses current research in the areas mentioned above.

Workshop on German Sign Language at a FSJ and BFD seminar

Workshop_NPOn Thursday, 22nd January 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nina-Kristin Pendzich gave a workshop entitled ''Die Hände und das Gesicht sprechen lassen. Einblicke in die Deutsche Gebärdensprache (DGS) und ihre Kultur'' twice. The workshop took place as part of a FSJ and BFD seminar of the DRK-Landesverband Niedersachsen e.V. in Bad Pyrmont. The participants were very interested in the contents of the workshop and intrigued by the various DGS videos.

Feedback Tool

The feedback tool of the DGS-Corpus-Project in Hamburg is now online:

German-Israeli Project: First results of the questionnaire survey

The sign team in Göttingen and the sign language research group in Haifa (Israel) have a common project. They compare the German Sign Language (DGS) with the Israeli Sign Language (ISL), because these two are historically related. Before the start of the 2nd World War, several deaf people from Berlin moved to Jerusalem, where they have built together with Israeli Deaf the first school for the Deaf in Israel. Therefore, the two sign languages are closely intertwined. A few months ago, we conducted online a questionnaire study in Germany and Israel. Many deaf and hard of hearing people have participated - Thanks for the support!!! Now the first results are available. The project will run until the end of 2015 and we are very excited to see what we will find out in the future.

Branchini_RelativizationFourth volume of our new series Sign Language and Deaf Communities (SLDC, De Gruyter Mouton - Ishara) published:

Chiara Branchini (2014): On Relativization and Clefting. An Analysis of Italian Sign Language.

Semester abroad at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, Israel

Israel_ReiseberichtDrawing syntactic trees among the palms, studying neuronal communication at the Dead Sea, Palestinian rap on Christmas day and hummus for breakfast - this is not how our student assistant Elisabeth Volk imagined her semester abroad. When the positive answer of a scholarship by Erasmus Mundus arrived in spring 2014, the expectations for the coming fall semester had been high and have been exceeded tremendously until now. Currently, she is spending her last month in this diverse and exciting country before it is time again to return to Göttingen.

AchterbahnTVLiona Paulus as an invited guest in the talk show 'Achterbahn TV - Der Kulturtalk für alle'

The moderators Axel S. (hearing) and Barbara R. (Deaf) invited our Deaf team member Liona Paulus as a talk show guest to their talk Show 'Achterbahn TV - Der Kulturtal für alle'. This was done in the context of inclusion of the RheinMainTV. In the show, sign language and spoken language was used and in addition, everything was subtitled. The show was recorded in Mainz-Gustavsburg on the 21st of October 2014 and was accompanied by a number of sign language interpreters. Further information and broadcasting dates (also via livestream/media center) can be found on the website

Dawei NiTalk on 'Chinese culture. An outline of the long culture in China' by Dawei Ni in Hildesheim on 05th of November 2014

On the 05th of November 2014, two members of our team, Nina Kristin Pendzich and Liona Paulus, went to Hildesheim along with Ni Dawei, who has previously visited our sign language team in Göttingen. In Hildesheim, Ni Dawei, who is a Deaf Austrian and was born in China, gave a very interesting talk about the culture, Deaf culture and the sign languages of China. About 35-40 people visited the Deaf center in Hildesheim and watched the three-hour lecture with great astonishment and amazement. Everybody was surprised by the many superlatives that China has to offer. Among other things, Dawei Ni reported that in China there are about 20 million Deaf, 5000 Deaf schools and five major universities with departments which are specifically dedicated to Deaf students. Also interesting is the logographic Chinese character for 'Deaf', which is, according to Chinese mythology, a combination of the symbol 'dragon' and 'ear' and is meant in a positive sense.
After the presentation, Dawei Ni was asked many questions and some of the audience took the opportunity for a group photo together with the expert of the Chinese culture. Thanks to the presenter we have now received a great insight into this fascinating world. It was a very interesting and successful evening!

Symposium: The promises and perils of diversity and inclusion: deaf people in multiple contexts

New DGS modules
Starting with the winter semester 2014/15, we offer three new practical language modules in the BA program German Language and Literature and the MA program Linguistics. The modules, which consist of a sign language class (DGS 1-3) and either lecture or a practical course in the sign lab, provide basic knowledge of DGS. The students do not only acquire basic skills for sign language research but also competence in the intercultural communication with linguistic minorities.

New certified FACS-Encoder in our SignTeam

FACS_NinaCongratulations: Nina-Kristin Pendzich has excellently passed the exam to be a certified FACS-Coder. She will support our research on nonmanual markings in sign languages with her expertise in facial expressions (cf. Ekman, Friesen and Hager 2002).

The SignTeam at the Venice FEAST Colloquium

FEASTFrom 09th till 11th of June 2014, the conference "Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory" (FEAST-Colloquium) was held in Venice. Our team is growing and many of us enjoyed being there: some of us were already at the summerschool from the COST SignGram Action on the wonderful island San Servolo. In addition, following the conference, the official COST Meeting of the SignGram Action took place: "Unraveling the grammars of European sign languages: pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage".

Talk in the Auditorium at Wilhelmplatz

VortragOn Monday, 2nd June 2014 at 6 p.m. Markus Steinbach and Annika Herrmann gave a talk entitled "Wenn die Spannung mit den Händen zu greifen ist. Geschichten in Gebärdensprachen". The talk took place as part of the lecture series "Ringvorlesung" of the University of Göttingen in the auditorium at Wilhelmsplatz and was held in German and German Sign Language. We are pleased that so many hearing and deaf people have found their way into the auditorium despite the short-term schedule change. The following sign meeting was as always a great success.

New experimental research project on Anaphora Resolution in Sign Language

Bengt Förster in Göttingen

Bengt Förster GöttingenIn January, Bengt Förster visited the sign team in Göttingen and many visitors came to see his talk in German Sign Language on "Forms of (multiple) perspectives in character utterances of German Sign Language". The interpreters were Undine Schäfer and Katarina Klante.

Second volume of our new series Sign Language and Deaf Communities (SLDC, De Gruyter Mouton - Ishara) published:

Annika Herrmann (2013): Modal and Focus Particles in Sign Languages. A Cross-linguistic Study.

EU-Cost-Meeting in historical building. On the trail of Abbé de l'Epée

Abbé de l’Epée At the European project meeting of CostAction IS 1006 in Paris at the beginning of December 2013, we had the pleasure of working in the building and in the rooms of the so-called 'father' of French Sign Language, Abbé de l'Epée (1712-1789). On a guided tour, we visited the old library of this famous deaf school. Paintings, sculptures, and many stories gave an insight to the life and work of l'Epée, Sicard, Clerc, Bebián, Berthier, and other historical characters. A truly impressive journey!

Workshop "Priming across Modalities" November 28, 2013, Universität of Göttingen

Movie "Lautlose Flucht" in Frankfurt am Main.

Filmpremiere Saturday, 2nd of November 2013, the premiere of the movie "Lautlose Flucht" took place at the cinema Metropolis in Frankfurt am Main. There was a reception preceding the movie and afterwards the director Reiner Mertz thanked the audience and the people that contributed to the movie over the past three years. Our sign team participated in this event and proudly supports the initiative.

More information can be found here:

First talk in the new colloquium series "Linguistics in Göttingen" (October 23, 2013, 4 pm, CRC Text Structures):
Roland Pfau (Amsterdam): The head shakes in patterns: A negative concord perspective on sign language negation

ERP study on transition phase in sign language published in Neuropsychologia

SLDC1 First volume of our new series Sign Language and Deaf Communities (SLDC, De Gruyter Mouton - Ishara) published:

Laurence Meurant, Aurélie Sinte, Mieke van Herreweghe and Myriam Vermeerbergen (eds.) (2013): Sign Language Research, Uses and Practices. Crossing Views on Theoretical and Applied Sign Language Linguistics.

DGfS Summer School 2013 "Language Development: Evolution, Change, Aquisition", August 12-30, 2013, Humboldt-University Berlin

"How to talk with your hands", Presentation and reception, 2. July 2013, 18.15, Medienraum of the German Deprartment

New Sign Language Classes: Sign Language in Göttingen is growing! Beginning this summer semester 2013, there will be two more sign languages classes financed by tuition fees. In addition to the regular DGS1 and DGS2 courses, we offer another DGS1 course and an advanced communication course. Students of German Philology may register as usual via StudIP.

Workshop on "Linguistic Foundations of Narration in Spoken and Sign Languages", 35th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), March 13-15, 2013, University of Potsdam

Happy New Year from the Sign Team

New HSK volume on Sign Language
The handbook "Sign Language" aims to provide a concise and comprehensive overview of the state of the art in sign language linguistics. It includes 44 chapters, written by leading researchers in the field, that address issues in language typology, sign language grammar, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, and language documentation and transcription. Crucially, all topics are presented in a way that makes them accessible to linguists who are not familiar with sign language linguistics.

Fall School "Shifting Perspectives - Non-canonical Forms of Reported Discourse in Spoken and Sign Languages", University of Göttingen

Sign Language Summer School, University of Hamburg

SignGram Training School, University of Hamburg

Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST) 2012, University of Warsaw

Monthly Sign Language Meeting

Sign language chorus at the Deutsche Theeater (German Theater): A sign language chorus consisting of hearing and deaf signers will be part of a joint production of the Deutsche Theater in Göttingen and the sign language group of the German Department. Premiere: 14th of April, 2012.

More (in German)

Annika Herrmann gets the Wilhelm von Humboldt award for young researchers

Humboldt Award In March 2012, the German Linguistic Society awards Diana Forker (Universität Bamberg) und Annika Herrmann (Universität Göttingen) the Wilhelm von Humboldt-Price for the best dissertation. Annika Herrmann receives the award for her work "Modal Particles and Focus Particles in Sign Languages. A Cross-Linguistic Study of DGS, NGT and ISL." Both researchers will be given € 2000,- for their dissertations.

25th anniversary of the Institut für Deutsche Gebärdensprache und Kommunikation Gehörloser at the University of Hamburg

Sign Language Workshop, Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society 2012

AG 13 "Experimental Studies in Sign Language Research"
March 7, 2012, 1pm - 7pm

Call for Papers
Program AG 13

"Language as a Complex System", Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main

Please see the following link of the local organizers for registration, accommodation and further information:
34th DGfS Meeting, March 6 - 9, 2012

German Linguistic Society (DGfS)

COST Action: Workshop in Göttingen

October 15 - 16, 2011

COST Action Project

Lichtenberg-Kolleg Symposion

Startseite Sternwarte Lichtenbergkolleg
October 13 - 14, 2011

"Complex Sentences and Beyond in Sign and Spoken Languages"

New Sign Language Series

De Gruyter Mouton and Ishara Press present two new Sign Language Series:

Sign Languages and Deaf Communities (SLDC)
Series editors: Annika Herrmann, Markus Steinbach and Ulrike Zeshan

Sign Language Typology Series (SLTS)
Series editors: Marie Coppola, Onno Crasborn and Ulrike Zeshan

Guidelines for submitting a book proposal

Opening of the Sign Language Lab

Gebärdensprachlabor 4

24. February 2011

Universität Göttingen

Sign Language in Göttingen
Seminar für Deutsche Philologie
Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3
37073 Göttingen
phone: +49-551-397540
fax: +49-551-397546
Contact: Annika Herrmann and Markus Steinbach

Sign Language Lab
Nikolausberger Weg 23
37073 Göttingen
Contact: Annika Herrmann

Björn Bock and Annika Herrmann