Nina-Kristin Pendzich


As a research assistant for German Linguistics and Sign Language Research, I manage the Sign Language Lab at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, I am involved in various research projects, and I teach courses in linguistics.

Since March 2017, I am working together with Prof. Markus Steinbach in the editing of the journal „Linguistische Berichte“.

In February 2017, I successfully passed the defence of my doctoral thesis entitled „Lexical Nonmanuals in German Sign Language (DGS). An Empirical and Theoretical Investigation.“ Besides the articulation with the hands, nonmanuals such as facial expressions, movements of the head and torso fulfil various functions in sign languages. In differentiation to gestural, emotional and grammatical units, it is an interesting research question which role these markers play as lexical parts of signs. With three empirical studies and an investigation using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS, Ekman et al. 2002), I analysed this question in detail within my doctoral thesis.

Between 2006 and 2012, I studied German Philology and History for a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen. In addition, I successfully completed a semester abroad in Italy at the University of Bergamo in 2010/11. In the course of the master program, my enthusiasm for sign languages was aroused and I decided to focus on sign language linguistics.

In particular, I am interested in theoretical and experimental sign language linguistics. I am investigating grammatical and lexical nonmanuals and their interface with gestures. Besides, narrative structures in sign languages are relevant for my research.

I am happy about any further insight into the world of sign languages that I can gain by doing research on the linguistic structures and by interacting with deaf signers.