Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!
Virtual Christmas party of the "Gebärdentreff" with a screening of the life stories documentary
The virtual Christmas party of the "Gebärdentreff" took place on December 8, 2020. On this occasion we were watching together the new documentary "We were there ... we are here" about the life stories of elderly deaf people. Before the screening, Jens-Michael Cramer gave a brief and vivid introduction to the life story project in DGS. After the screening, we had a lively discussion about various topics mentioned in the movie and in Jens' presentation. Despite the very successful evening, we are now all looking forward to the next Christmas party in person, which will hopefully take place again next year in the usual setting.
First habilitation in sign language linguistics at Göttingen University
CONGRATULATIONS: Hanna Jaeger successfully accomplished the final part of her habilitation procedure at the University of Göttingen with a convincing inaugural lecture on "International Sign: Sign language communication in transnational contexts". Hanna wrote a postdoctoral thesis on "Authenticity in the DGS community: Theoretical considerations, linguistic aspects and meta-linguistic perspectives" and received the license to teach for the topic general linguistics with a focus on sign languages. We are all delighted with her about this excellent achievement!
Sprachkalender DGS 2021
Are you still looking for Christmas presents? ...the daily calendar for German Sign Language (DGS) for 2021. The calendar was created by Thomas Finkbeiner and Nina-Kristin Pendzich. It contains numerous photos of signs taken with thirteen deaf people.
"Gebärdentreff" December 8th, 2020
On Tuesday, December 8th at 6 p.m. we will have an online "Gebärdentreff": Jens-Michael Cramer will report on the project on the life stories of deaf seniors. Then we watch the SignHub documentary "We were there ... we are here". After the film there will be a question and discussion session on the project. There will be two sign language interpreters for DGS - German.
Do you want to participate? Please send an email to:
When you have registered, we will send you the zoom access data for the online "Gebärdentreff".
You can also find all information in DGS in the following video:
New collected volume on the life stories of elderly deaf people
Over the past four years, we conducted numerous interviews with deaf seniors in several countries within our EU project "The Sign-Hub". The first results of these interviews are now documented in the new collected volume "Our Lives - Our Stories: Life Experiences of Elderly Deaf People". The 14 chapters of this volume illustrate the diversity of life experiences and the rich culture of deaf people in Europe, Turkey, Israel, and the US from the Second World War to the present day. More information can be found here.
Katharina Paul successful at the Lower Saxony Science Award 2020
CONGRATULATIONS: Katharina Paul was honored at the Lower Saxony Science Prize. With the award, the jury honors Katharina's academic achievements and her commitment to linguistic research while studying at the University of Göttingen and the University of Vienna. During her studies, Katharina was involved in various linguistic publications, gave presentations at national and international conferences and supported the organization of international events in Göttingen. As a student assistant, she was an indispensable member of the linguistics team as well as the sign language team. We congratulate Katharina on this special award!
DFG funds a new Research Training Group on the relation between form and meaning
The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding a new research training group in the field of linguistics at the University of Göttingen. 24 doctoral students will be enrolled in this new study program in linguistics. Starting in April 2020, the Research Training Group (GRK) 2636 “Form-meaning Mismatches” will be supported with approx. 5 million euros over the next four and a half years. The new program is an initiative of the Faculty of Philosophy with participation of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Faculty of Biology and Psychology. The doctoral candidates will also investigate sign languages, which are a focus of linguistic research at the University of Göttingen.
No meetings of our "Gebärdentreff"
Due to the current situation with the Corona virus, there will be no meeting of our "Gebärdentreff" in the next winter semester. As an alternative, we are planning an online Christmas party in December and we will get back to you with more information soon.
Sign language poetry at the festival "Göttinger Literaturherbst"
Rafael-Evitan Grombelka and Kinga Tóth from the group Handverlesen perform at the festival “Göttinger Literaturherbst”. Their performance will take place on October 30th at 7 p.m. Handverlesen is a Berlin project group that consists of hearing and deaf artists and which presents texts and poetry in spoken and sign languages. More information can be found here.
DFG approves scientific network „Deaf History“
For a long time, the history of deafness and deaf people were almost exclusively written by hearing professionals and from hearing perspectives. Deaf history including diverse deaf perspectives is a relatively young, interdisciplinary field of research. This is particularly true for German-speaking Central Europe, where deaf history is rarely part of academic research. This is the starting point for the DFG network project “Deaf history in German-speaking Europe. The interdisciplinary history of a minority,” which will run for three years starting in the fall of 2020. It provides an interdisciplinary forum of exchange for addressing important issues in deaf history and for collaborating with deaf organizations. As part of medical, social and media history, the history of education and language, deaf history provides insight to issues of exclusion and equality, the claims of science and medicine versus the rights and autonomy of individuals and social groups, or of the quest for normalization versus sociocultural definitions of disability and difference. The network is coordinated by Marion Schmidt (University of Göttingen) and Anja Werner (University of Hannover).
Language calendar for DGS 2021
Thomas Finkbeiner and Nina-Kristin Pendzich developed the first year-round daily calendar for German Sign Language (DGS) for 2020. There will be a new DGS calendar in 2021 which is already available in stores. The calendar offers a mixture of vocabulary, grammar, culture, history and finger alphabet and has also a section called did you know ...? The calendar focuses on numerous photos of signs that were taken with thirteen deaf people. The calendar is interesting for all deaf and hearing people who would like to learn more about DGS and have either no prior knowledge about it or have already sign language skills. Here you find the flyer as a pdf file.
And here is a video with more information on the structure and content of the calendar in DGS:
Sign-Hub documentary movie with German subtitles
The SIGN-HUB documentary movie "We were there ... we are here" is now online available with German subtitles. The movie is based on interviews and life testimonies of elderly Deaf people living in France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey. The interviews with elderly Deaf seniors in Germany were conducted by Jens-Michael Cramer in the framework of the research projects “The Sign Hub" (EU, Horizon 2020) and "(In)visible Life Stories" (PRO*Niedersachsen). You find the movie here.
Video of Neha's poster pitch for FEAST 2020 in Paris
Online premiere of the Sign-Hub documentary movie
On Wednesday, June 24 at 6 pm (Paris time), we will have the premiere of 'We were there... we are here', a SIGN-HUB documentary movie based on interviews and life testimonies of elderly Deaf people from France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey. The interviews were conducted and filmed by Deaf teams in the framework of the research project “The Sign Hub: Preserving, Researching and Fostering the Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Heritage of European Deaf Signing Communities with an Integral Resource” funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme. The premiere is part of this year's FEAST conference in Paris, which will also take place online. More information here.
Nina-Kristin Pendzich (2020): Lexical Nonmanuals in German Sign Language
Nina-Kristin Pendzich's PhD thesis has been published in the series Sign Language and Deaf Communities (SLDC, De Gruyter Mouton - Ishara Press): Nina-Kristin Pendzich (2020): Lexical Nonmanuals in German Sign Language. Empirical Studies and Theoretical Implications. You can find the flyer here.
The fourth newsletter of our project "The Sign Hub: Preserving, Researching and Fostering the Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Heritage of European Deaf Signing Communities with an Integral Resource" is now online.
Workshop on linguistic diversity and modality at annual meeting of the DGfS
Sign language linguists from several different countries gathered in Hamburg from March 4th-6th to discuss new perspectives on bimodal bilingualism at the 42nd annual meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS). Researchers presented new insights on different bimodal-bilingual acquisition scenarios and learner groups and discussed their potential effects on other cognitive processes. Despite Corona-induced gaps in the program, the workshop provided many new impulses and allowed participants plenty of opportunities for networking and a lively exchange of ideas. The meeting was co-organized by a member of the SignTeam Göttingen, Cornelia Loos, who together with Markus Steinbach also gave a talk on the influence of German on response strategies in German Sign Language (DGS).
Conference on teaching DGS at the Landshut University of Applied Sciences
From February 27th to 28th, 2020, the conference „GER-DGS Anbindung in der Lehre der Deutschen Gebärdensprache an Hochschulen in Deutschland“ took place at the Landshut University of Applied Sciences. DGS teachers from different German universities met to exchange and discuss information about teaching materials, didactics of DGS, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (GERS) and new e-learning possibilities. Our SignTeam member Thomas Finkbeiner took part in this conference (picture: University of Applied Sciences Landshut).
Next Meetings of "Gebärdentreff" cancelled
Due to the current situation with the Corona virus, there will be no meeting of our "Gebärdentreff" in April and May. We will get back to you with more information for June. Stay healthy!
Sign-Hub closing event in Barcelona has been cancelled
We are very sorry to inform you that the SIGN-HUB final event scheduled for 25-26 March has been cancelled. The general situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus has been worsening by the day and the Catalan Government suspended all activities at all levels of the educational system as of 13 March for two weeks. We apologize for the possible inconvenience caused.
"All hands on deck! Sign languages and Deaf communities" - Sign-Hub closing event in Barcelona
After four years of hard work, the Horizon 2020 project SIGN-HUB, is coming to an end. We invite everyone to the closing event "All hands on deck! Sign languages and Deaf communities", which will take place at UPF in Barcelona on March 25-26. It will feature three thematic round tables with Deaf and hearing researchers and stakeholders on the right to sign language acquisition and education, the importance of Deaf memories as part of collective memories and the need for sign language research. Prof. Bencie Woll (DCAL, UCL, London) will deliver a keynote lecture about the past, present and future needs of sign language research. The event also includes two cultural evenings: the premiere of the project documentary "We were there, we are here" about the memories of elderly signers across Europe, and the theater play "La Tríada" in Catalan Sign Language, on three women that made history. More information here.
Workshop on linguistic diversity and linguistic modalities
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. The Workshop "Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Modalities: New Perspectives on Bimodal (Sign Language/Oral Language) Bilingualism" at the Annual conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) 2020 (March 4 till March 6) explores linguistic diversity involving spoken and sign languages by bringing together experts and younger researchers working in the field of bimodal bilingualism. More information here.
TISLR 13 picture gallery online
All photos taken during the last TISLR 13 conference are now available here. The 13th conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) took place on 26-28 September 2019 in Hamburg and was organized by the SignLab Göttingen together with the Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf (IDGS) at the University of Hamburg and the Department of Sign Language Interpretation and Deaf Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Opening of the student exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people" in Osnabrück
On January 31, 2020, more than 100 visitors came to the consulting center for hearing-impaired people in Osnabrück to participate in the ceremonial opening of the student exhibition "Life stories deaf seniors". Annette Kobbe-Liekam from the Heilpädagogische Hilfe Osnabrück welcomed the guests. After the warm welcome, Dr. Jana Hosemann and Christa Gaisbichler guided the guests in spoken and sign language through the exhibition and discussed with the visitors the life of elderly deaf people in Germany. More information on the exhibition can be found here (only in German).
LinG3 Workshop on (A)Symmetries in Spoken and Sign Languages
On February 5 and 6, 2020, many guests from Germany and abroad came to Göttingen to attend our workshop "(A)Symmetries in Spoken and Sign Languages" (LinG3 Workshop). In the Alte Mensa of the University of Göttingen, the participants discussed in detail many advantages and probably equally many problems for an antisymmetric theory of syntax. A special focus of the workshop was on the implementation of new cross-modal typological findings. We would like to thank all participants for the interesting presentations and the fruitful discussions.
The exhibition “Life stories of elderly Deaf people” is moving
The student exhibition of our research project "(In)visible life stories" will be presented in February in Osnabrück. From February 1, 2020, till March 5, 2020, the exhibition can be daily visited from 9 am till 4 pm at the information center for hearing-impaired people (Beratungsstelle für hörgeschädigte Menschen, Niedersachsenstr. 15a) in Osnabrück. More information on the exhibition can be found here (only in German).
Trailer of the new Sign-Hub movie about the life of elderly deaf people