Call for Papers

Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Modalities: New Perspectives on Bimodal (Sign Language/Oral Language) Bilingualism

Sign language workshop at the 42. Annual Meeting of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS).
The conference will address the overarching topic “Linguistic Diversity: Theories, Methods, Resources”. Carol Padden (USCD, San Diego) will be one of the keynotes presenters.

Location: Hamburg, Germany

General information
Workshop: March 4-6, 2020
Submission of abstracts: September 10, 2019 (extended deadline)
Meeting Email:

Invited presenters
Diane Lillo-Martin (University of Connecticut)
Bencie Woll (UCL/DCAL)

Meeting description
Studies on bimodal-bilingualism contribute significantly to a better understanding of linguistic diversity and its consequences for linguistic theory. Questions that have been addressed pertain to similarities and differences in the acquisition, processing and mental representation of languages that use different modalities, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to the nature and role of cross-modal language contact phenomena in different social settings. More recently, additional questions have been raised against the backdrop of the increasing heterogeneity of the linguistic profiles of bilingual signers, i.e. early or late learners of one or more sign languages with varying degrees of access to the surrounding spoken language(s). Diversity along these dimensions not only raises the question about the competences attained by the individual signers, but also about the impact on the evolution of the languages involved, be they emergent or institutionalized sign languages.
The broad objective of this workshop is to explore linguistic diversity involving spoken and sign languages by bringing together experts and younger researchers working in the field of bimodal bilingualism.
Topics that will be addressed include but are not limited to linguistic diversity as it relates to

• language development in bilingual signers
• intra-modal and cross-modal language contact phenomena
• neurobiological aspects of bimodal bilingualism
• methodological aspects of bimodal bilingualism research
• consequences for linguistic theories
• language evolution in bimodal contexts
• didactics of bimodal bilingualism

Presentations will be 20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion.

Abstract submission guidelines
Abstracts should be no more than 250 words, and contain a max. number of 5 references. Please send your abstract (in a word document with affiliation and email address(es), and, additionally, in an anonymous pdf file) to

Important dates
Submission of abstracts: September 10, 2019 (extended deadline)
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2019
Workshop: March 4-6, 2020

Barbara Hänel-Faulhaber, University of Hamburg
Cornelia Loos, University of Goettingen
Carolina Plaza-Pust, University of Frankfurt am Main