"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.
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
Talk by Donna Jo Napoli
On Friday, 20th of December 2019, Donna Jo Napoli gave a talk at 4 p.m. about "Drawing shapes and what that teaches us about the lexicon". Donna Jo Napoli presented in English and two interpreters interpret her interesting talk into DGS. We would like to thank all participants!
Christmas Party 2019
Our annual Christmas party of the “Gebärdentreff” took place on 10th of December at the L’Osteria in Göttingen. We spent a lovely evening with delicious pizza and dessert, crafted hands, and pleasant conversations. We were happy to meet many of you there and are looking forward to the next “Gebärdentreff” which will take place after a short winter break on 4th of February 2020.
NDR shows a "A Christmas Carol" in DGS
In December 2018, the ThOP in Göttingen presented “A Christmas carol” by Charles Dickens in a bilingual production: German and German Sign Language were presented side by side. Hearing, deaf and hard-of-hearing people worked together in this ensemble. This project also sparked the interest of the NDR, which created a professional recording in December 2018. Since December 1st, this recording can be viewed online so everyone can enjoy the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, the Christmas ghosts, Tiny Tim and all the other wonderful characters of the play.
Talk about Providence Island Sign Language
On Tuesday, 5th of November 2019, Rehana Omardeen gave a talk on Sign Language in Providence Island. The talk was part of our monthly sign meeting. Two interpreters translated the English talk into German Sign Language (DGS). Afterwards, we had a nice champagne reception.
SIGNopsis presentation "The life stories of deaf elderly people: How did deaf people, born between 1930 and 1950 and raised in Germany, find their work profession?"
SignTeam at TISLR13 in Hamburg
From 26th till 28th of September 2019, the 13th TISLR conference "Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research" took place in Hamburg. It 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. It was a wonderful conference with a lot of interesting and inspiring talks. The SignTeam presented several posters and participated with a SIGNopsis presentation.
Liona Paulus: finished her PhD
CONGRATULATIONS! Liona as the first Deaf Phd student of our team successfully defended her dissertation in September. In her dissertation she compared German and Brasilian Sign Language and investigated, which manual and nonmanual components signers use in both languages to mark a conditional clause. The day of the defense was a huge success followed by a trolley ride through the city and the famous kiss of the Gänseliesel. We all celebrate with her!
LinG Workshop on Sign Language
On 13th of September 2019, on the occasion of the defense by Liona Paulus, the international LinG Workshop on Sign Languages took place, which was organized by the SignTeam. There were nine presentations on various topics related to sign languages. Ronice Müller de Quadros gave a talk on Constraints on Bimodal Code-Switching and -Blending. We would like to thank all of the participants for the great workshop!
Language calender for DGS
The language calendar for German Sign Language, developed by Thomas Finkbeiner and Nina-Kristin Pendzich, is now available in stores. The flyer can be found here.
In memory of Karin Kestner
The sign language interpreter and publisher Karin Kestner died after a serious illness at the age of 63 on 4th of June 2019. Her manifold work and activities for the sign language community will always be remembered. We want to express our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family.
Workshop on bimodal bilingualism
Together with colleagues from the University of Hamburg and the University of Frankfurt/Main, the Sign-Team Göttingen organizes a workshop on "Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Modalities: New Perspectives on Bimodal (Sign Language/Oral Language) Bilingualism" at the next annual meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS). More information and call for papers here.
Fieldwork in Providence Island in the Caribbean
Rehana Omardeen spent three months in Providencia, Colombia documenting the signing systems used among deaf and hearing people in the island. She collected a range of video data from hearing and deaf signers, including lexical elicitation, narrative retelling, and conversational signing. This fieldwork was only possible with the help of many collaborators at the local/national/international level, including the mayor’s office, the Lloyd Best Institute for the West Indies, the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (video in Spanish with Spanish subtitles).
9th Deaf Academics Conference in Iceland
The 9th Deaf Academics Conference took place at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík from 11th till 13th of May. Our colleague Liona Paulus and Helena Carmo, a colleague from Portugal, organized a two-hour workshop on how to be a Deaf PhD student in a non-sign language academic environment. In exchange with other deaf PhD students from all over the world, it turned out that everyone is communicating in multilingual and multimodal ways at their universities. They use, for instance, sign language interpreters or written interpretation or communicate with pen and paper or with laptop and email. In a nutshell, deaf scientists are endowed with high and many language skills. In sum, attending this conference was a great success as the exchange with others was very fruitful and the whole conference was signed completely barrier-free in International Sign.
TISLR 13 in Hamburg - first impressions
TISLR 13 has taken a great step forward! Online registration is finally open and conference program online
We are delighted to announce that the online registration is open now! Early registration ends on 30th of June 2019. During the registration process you can register for free events such as free International Sign courses, free city tours in International Sign, the Warming Up, and the reception at the town hall. Please consider that space in some events is limited and that you should only register if you are truly sure you’re probably coming. To get an impression about the highly prestigious core topics of TISLR 13, our invited presenters Ronice Müller de Quadros, Gladys Tang, Jordan Fenlon and Karen Emmorey are giving you a personal short inside into their keynotes. More information here.
SignLab Göttingen composes the first language calender for German Sign Language
Nina-Kristin Pendzich and Thomas Finkbeiner are currently preparing the first year-round language calender for DGS. The sheet calender for 2020 will be published on July 1, 2019. In various thematic sections, the calender will daily inform about vocabulary, grammar and language as well as Deaf culture and the history of the Deaf community. In addition, the calender will regularly provide valuable and helpful tips for those who have always been interested in sign language and in communication in the visual-gestural modality. More information here (only in German).
The third 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.
The sign Lab develops an interactive e-learning module for teaching German Sign Language
As part of the funding program "Innovation plus", the state of Lower Saxony supports a new project of the Sign Lab Göttingen. The aim of this project is to develop, implement and evaluate a multimedia e-learning module for the introductory sign language courses DGS I to III. The module will consist of four different components: (i) a lexicon, (ii) exercises, (iii) a glossary and (iv ) grammatical descriptions. This module, which meets the standards of modern digital sign language teaching, will contribute significantly to a sustainable improvement of sign language teaching at the University of Göttingen.
TISLR 13 abstract selection completed
Altogether, we received 399 submissions for this year's TISLR conference at Hamburg University. 129 members of the program committee and 14 members of the topic committee have been involved in the selection of 25 paper presentations, 11 SIGNopsis presentations and 180 poster presentations. We would like to thank all reviewers for their effort and expertise. Thanks to their support we could compile an exciting, topically diverse, and theoretically ambitious program for TISLR 13. The program will be online soon here.
Virtual tour of the exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people"
Sign Team was again present at the Lange Nacht des Wissens
On Saturday, January 26, the 4th "Lange Nacht des Wissens" took place. This year, the main attraction was the exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people", which can be visited at the KWZ until February 28. The numerous visitors could inform themselves about the life of elderly deaf people in Germany and had fun with the communication game, which allows insight into the world of deaf people. At our stand, many interesting conversations arose and we presented our work and the Sign-Hub project.
Mirko Santoro: "Compounds in sign languages: The case of Italian and French Sign Language"
On January 16, Mirko Santoro from CNRS Paris gave an interesting presentation on different kinds of compounds in sign languages. In his talk, he a also presented his new studies on Italian (LIS) and French Sign Language (LSF). We would like to thank Mirko, the deaf and hearing interpreters, and the audience for the inspiring presentation and discussion.
Ceremonial opening of the student exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people"
More than 100 visitors attended the ceremonial opening of the student exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people" on the evening of January 15 in the KWZ. The vice president for teaching, learning and equal opportunities, Prof. Dr. Andrea D. Bührmann, welcomed all guests. The opening address on attitude(s) about German Sign Language (DGS) was given by Prof. Dr. Christian Rathmann from the Humboldt University of Berlin. More information on the exhibition can be found here. (only in German).
Opening of the exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people"
The ceremonial opening of the student exhibition "Life stories of elderly Deaf people" will take place January 15, 2019, 6.30 pm, in the Kulturwissenschaftlichen Zentrum (KWZ) of the University of Göttingen. Interested visitors can visit the exhibition till February 28, 2019, from Monday to Saturday in the KWZ. More information on the exhibition can be found here. (only in German).
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christmas Party 2018
Our annual Christmas party of the “Gebärdentreff” took place on 4th of December. We met at Bar Celona and spent a cozy evening with delicious food and interesting discussions. We were happy to meet many of you there and are looking forward to the next Gebärdentreff which will take place after a short break on 5th of February 2019.
Inclusion: best practice example from Brazil
Liona Paulus gave an interview about her experiences with inclusion in Brazil. You can read the interview here.
Sign language at the Kinder-Uni
Dorothee Nyga and Jens-Michael Cramer explained how to communicate with signs to the boys and girls who participated in a seminar on German Sign Language at the Kinder-Uni. How it was and which signs they have learned, you can read here (only in German).
TISLR 13: Second call for Papers
Organized by the Sign Language Linguistics Society (www.slls.eu), TISLR is held every three years and aims to familiarize the community with the latest advances in sign language research. Various domains are covered including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, and neurolinguistics. We welcome diverse theoretical perspectives and research that represents a wide variety of sign languages used all around the globe. More information and call for papers here.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in German and German Sign Language
Ebenezer Scrooge is stingy and embittered. Even at Christmas, he does not open his heart to the people. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is surprised by three Christmas ghosts. They show him how he has changed over the years, why he has become so grim and what the future will bring. Now Scrooge has to decide: Does he continue living as usual, or can he give his life a new meaning?
In this bilingual production, the entire family can look forward to the classic Christmas story of Charles Dickens, which is presented by the ThOP in Göttingen and will be shown in December. German and German Sign Language will be presentd side by side and offer a contemplative experience for deaf and hearing people.
The trailer can be watched here:
Dates: 01.12.2018 (20.15 Uhr), 03.12. (20.15 Uhr), 05.12. (20.15 Uhr), 07.12. (20.15 Uhr), 08.12. (20.15 Uhr), 09.12. (16.00 Uhr), 12.12.2018 (20.15 Uhr), 14.12. (20.15 Uhr), 15.12. (20.15 Uhr), 16.12. (16.00 Uhr), 18.12. (20.15 Uhr), 19.12. (20.15 Uhr)
Place: Theater im OP, Göttingen (Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3, 37073 Göttingen)
Presentation of the results of our FoLL project "Life stories of elderly deaf people"
In November 2018, our student group presented the results of their project on life stories of elderly deaf people at the public closing event of all FoLL projects conducted in the last spring semester in the Adam-von-Trott-Saal of the conference center "Alte Mensa". All projects, which were presented in the first part of the event, were intensively discussed at a reception in the second part. Unlike the other projects, our FoLL project is, however, not finished yet. The next milestone of the project is the opening of the exhibition on January 15, 2019 in KWZ. More information here (only in German).
Student excursion to Hamburg and Osnabrück
Within the framework of research oriented teaching and learning ("Forschungsorientiertes Lehren und Lernen (FoLL)"), students of the Georg-August-University Göttingen set out on Friday morning for an excursion to the Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf (IDGS) in Hamburg and the counseling center for hearing-impaired people in Osnabrück. The aim of this excursion was to visit the archives and libraries with the aim of finding suitable documents and objects for the exhibition "Life Stories of Elderly Deaf People in Germany". The public exhibition will be opened in January 2019 at the Center for Cultural Studies of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (KWZ).
SignTeam is visiting the 3rd ProSIGN conference in Belgrade
Quiz question: Which phonological parameter causes the most errors in L2 learners in a sign language class for beginners? This answer has been answered in an interesting presentation by Luigi Lerose (UCLAN) at the 3rd ProSIGN conference in the auditory of the University of Belgrade: In the beginning, L2 learners struggle with handshapes and movements. This is in accord with our experience as sign language teachers.
Derya Nuhbalaoglu: finished her PhD
CONGRATULATIONS! In August 2018, Derya submitted her dissertation, which she successfully defended it in October. In her dissertation she compares anaphora resolution in two sign languages, German Sign Language and Turkish Sign Language. She investigated how signers use referential expressions, especially pointing signs, in both languages. The day of the defense sticked to all Göttingen traditions: after a trolley ride, Derya also successfully kissed the Gänseliesel. We all celebrate with her!
Diane Brentari: "Observing phonologization in sign languages"
During the week of September 3rd until 7th, Diane Brentari (University of Chicago) has visited our team in Göttingen. Moreover, she gave a talk on conventionalization in sign languages and presented experimental data of American and Nicaraguan Sign Language on Wednesday, September 5th. We would like to thank the presenter, the interpreters, and the audience for an inspiring evening.
Talk by Diane Brentari
Diane Brentari (University of Chicago) is going to visit us and give a talk on Wednesday, September 5th. She will present on "Observing phonologization in sign languages". Everybody is cordially invited.
When: Wednesday, September 5th, 4-5:45 p.m.
Where: Library, CRC Text Structures, Nikolausberger Weg 23, Göttingen
Developing a first comprehensive reference grammar of DGS
As an integral component of the Sign-Hub project, we are currently developing a digital infrastructure to write reference grammars of sign languages online. This infrastructure can be used by the local scientific communities in different countries to write a reference grammar of the respective sign language.
Searching for deaf participants: study on DGS by the University of Göttingen and the University of Köln
All information are summarized in the video below. If you are interested, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Jo Napoli: „Bilingual bimodal ebooks: Shared reading activities for deaf children and hearing adults“
On Tuesday, 26th of June 2018, Donna Jo Napoli gave a talk on bilingual bimodal ebooks. The talk was part of our monthly sign meeting. Two interpreters translated the English talk into German Sign Language (DGS). Afterwards, we had a nice champagne reception. We would like to thank Donna Jo for her fascinating talk.
FEAST conference 2018 and SignHub Meeting in Venice
From 18th till 20th of June 2018, the seventh meeting of the conference "Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory" (FEAST) was held in Venice. The SignTeam Göttingen participated with various talks and posters. Immediately after the conference, the fourth official meeting of the EU-project "The Sign Hub: Preserving, Researching and Fostering the Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Heritage of European Deaf Signing Communities with an Integral Resource" (Horizon 2020) took place at the Università Ca'Foscari Venezia.
Workshop on the life stories of elderly deaf people
The student project "The life stories of the Deaf in the post-war period" organized a workshop at June 15, 2018, with talks by the historian and president of the Deaf association of Germany Helmut Vogel and the gerontologist Jürgen Wolf (University of Magdeburg-Stendal). The aim of the project is the organization of a traveling exhibition documenting the life of Deaf people in the post-war period in Germany. The two exciting presentations made important suggestions for the preparation of the exhibition.
Jana Hosemann wins second place in the Lift-Off launch competition
Jana's innovative project SIGNfind got the second place in the Lift-Off launch competition at the University of Göttingen. The project aims at developing an online platform supporting Deaf people who are searching for sign language interpreters. The project will contribute to a barrier-free communication between hearing and Deaf people. We cordially congratulate the prize winner.
SignLab Göttingen at the 6th German Cultural Festival of the Deaf
More than 2500 national and international guests visited the 6th German Cultural Festival of the Deaf, which took place in Potsdam Babelsberg from May 17 till May 19. The SignTeam of Göttingen University was also present with a booth. At our booth, we informed the visitors about our research projects and our study programs, and we me met many old friends and got in contact with a lot of new friends. Especially our cultural studies project on the life stories of elderly deaf people attracted wide interest. We enjoyed three intense and exciting days with many interesting discussions.
We are looking for Deaf participants
The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences is looking for Deaf native signers, who acquired German Sign Language (DGS) as their first language and are interested in participating in a neurolinguistic study. The study will be conducted in cooperation with the SignLab at Göttingen University and the Institut for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at Hamburg University. More information here (only in German).
Post-Doc at Boston University
Working in one oft he oldest cities in the United States? This is now the every day life of our former team member Anne Wienholz. Since April, she is working at the Language Acquisition and Visual Attention (LAVA) Lab at Boston University. There, she is planning to conduct studies comparing American and German Sign Language. But of course, there will always be time to explore this history-charged city and to get to know the ‚American way of life‘.
Demonstration for accessibility for people with disabilities
On May 8, 2018, the day of action supporting people with disabilities starts at 2.30 pm with a demonstration march from three different starting points in Göttingen (Neues Rathaus, Bahnhof, Audimax) to the Gänseliesel. The motto of this demonstration is "barrierefrei unterwegs", After the demonstration, there will be a rally at the old city hall. More information here (only in German).
Save the Date: Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 13
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, the SignLab of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen organizes the international conference "Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research" (TISLR), the biggest conference on sign language linguistics worldwide. The conference will take place in September 2019 at the University of Hamburg. More information here.
Dr. Anne Wienholz: finished her PhD
CONGRATULATIONS! In March 2018, Anne submitted and defended her dissertation. The studies presented in her dissertation investigate the processing of referential expressions in German Sign Language (e.g., she, he, the grandma) by using the EEG and eye tracking method. The day of the defense sticked to all Göttingen traditions: after a trolley ride, the Gänseliesel statue was kissed. We all celebrate with her!
Nina-Kristin Pendzich gets the Wilhelm von Humboldt award for young researchers
In March 2018, the German Linguistic Society awarded Nina-Kristin Pendzich (University of Göttingen) the Wilhelm von Humboldt-Price for the best dissertation. Nina-Kristin Pendzich received the award for her work on "Lexical Nonmanuals in German Sign Language (DGS). An Empirical and Theoretical Investigation." Congratulations on this prestigious award!
More information here.
Workshop on Grammaticalization of Mood, Aspect, and Tense
On monday, February 26, the GraModAT workshop (Grammaticalization of Mood, Aspect, and Tense) took place at the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG). It was a day filled with exciting linguistic talks covering a multitude of languages — Vedic Sanskrit, Old Church Slavonic, and German Sign Language, to name but a few. We would like to thank all speakers, in particular the invited speakers Regine Eckardt (University of Konstanz) and Augustin Speyer (Saarland University), as well as the attending audience.
Students of the University of Göttingen prepare an exhibition about the life stories of Deaf people
In the next semester, students of the University of Göttingen design together with the SignLab Göttingen an exhibition about the (in)visible life stories of elderly Deaf people. The project will be supported by the framework of research oriented teaching and learning ("Forschungsorientiertes Lehren und Lernen (FoLL)"). In the first part of the seminar, the students will analyze videos of elderly Deaf people from a linguistic, historical, and socio-cultural perspective. The videos are currently collected in two research projects. In the second part, the results of the evaluation will be made available to a broad Deaf and hearing audience in a public exhibition opening beginning of 2019.
PhD scholarship in General Linguistics/Sign Language Linguistics
The transdisciplinary "Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Programme” announces 12 scholarships for PhD students. One of the 12 PhD candidates is expected to work in the fields of general linguistics, sign language linguistics (Georgian Sign Language), and/or linguistic typology (Kartvelian Languages). More information here.
Talk in Hamburg: Results of eye tracking studies
On 22. January 2018, our team members Anne Wienholz und Derya Nuhbalaoglu visited the Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at the University of Hamburg and presented the results of their eye tracking studies. There were a lot of interesting questions and a fruitful discussion. It was great to meet our participants and colleagues in Hamburg.
The SignLab Göttingen participates in a joined PhD program of Göttingen University and Ilia State University, Georgia
On the Göttingen side, nine different scientific disciplines are involved in the joint Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program, planned together with the Ilia State University. Initially, twelve doctoral candidates from Georgia and the Caucasus will be sponsored in the program and equally supervised at both locations. The study of Georgian Sign Language will be one topic for a PhD thesis.
COST SignGram Blueprint has been published
This month, the "SignGram Blueprint. A Guide to Sign Language Grammar Writing" has been published by de Gruyter Mouton. The comprehensive guide to reference grammars of sign languages is freely obtainable in the internet. The SignGram Blueprint is an innovative 800-page tool for the grammar writer: a full-fledged guide that covers all components of the grammars of sign languages (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax and meaning). In addition, it provides relevant background information (definitions, methodological caveats, representative examples, tests, pointers to elicitation materials and bibliographical references). The online-version of the SignGram Blueprint can be found here.
„Gebärdentreff“: Christmas party 2017
Christmas spirit with mulled wine and tasty food: on the 5th of December the yearly Christmas party of our „Gebärdentreff“ took place. We spent a cozy, pre-Christmas evening with a lot of flying hands. We are already looking forward to the first sign meeting of the year 2018. After a short break, we hope to see you all in February. Of course, we are always happy about new acquaintances.
Lela Finkbeiner: „Neue Wege in der Patientensicherheit mit gebärdensprachlichen Patienten/innen: evidenzbasierte Kernkompetenzen mit Fallbeispielen aus der medizinischen Praxis“
On Tuesday, 14th of November 2017, Lela Finkbeiner gave a talk on the communication between deaf patients and hearing doctors. The talk was part of our monthly sign meeting and was hold in the rooms of the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG). A lot of people came to attend Lela’s inspiring talk. Afterwards, we had a nice champagne reception.
A special exhibition on gestures in the past, present, and future will run from November 17, 2017, to March 4, 2018, at the Saxon Museum of Industry. More information here.
Nina-Kristin Pendzich receives award for the best dissertation in the humanities
On Thursday, November 2, 2017, the „Christian-Gottlob-Heyne" prize for the best PhD dissertation in the humanities submitted in the last academic year will be awarded at the gala of the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG). This year, the prize winner is the linguist Nina-Kristin Pendzich, who is awarded for her dissertation on the form and function of different nonmanual markers (such as facial expressions, head- and body movements) in sign languages. More information (only in German) here.
Documentary about the life stories of elderly Deaf people in German television
In September, the German television (BR) visited the Sign Lab Göttingen and made a movie about our life stories project. The movie is in DGS and German with German subtitles. You can watch the movie here.
SignTeam at the future fair for people with disabilities
On 23 September, the first future fair for people with disabilities took place in Göttingen. Among the 50 different exhibitors, the SignTeam was part of the fair. Jens-Michael Cramer taught DGS classes and at an information stand we presented our work. We came into an exchange with deaf people, but also with employers who wanted to inform themselves about the possibilities for the employment of disabled people.
SignTeam at documenta 14
On 12th September, the Sign Team was at the documenta 14 and took a walk for deaf, hearing and hearing impaired. The walk was directed by Karin Müller Schmied. We discovered and discussed art together. On the photo we stand before the self-portrait of Lorenza Böttner - an already died artist. She painted the picture with her feet because she lost both arms as a child caused by an accident.
Presentations on Sign Language and Sign Language Interpretation in the Internet
Selected talks of the "V Congresso Nacional de Pesquisas em Tradução e Interpretação de Libras e Língua Portuguesa" are now available online. More information here.
Job ad: Research Assistant
The Department of German Philology at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen is inviting applications for the position of a research assistant (male/female) for sign language linguistics (50% TV-L 13), starting at the next possible date. More information here.
FEAST conference 2017 and SignHub Meeting in Reykjavik
From 21st till 22nd of June 2017, the conference "Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory" (FEAST) took place in Reykjavik. We presented our recent work in a talk and poster. It was an interesting and successful workshop and we also enjoyed the beautiful landscape of Iceland. In addition, the third official meeting of the project "The Sign Hub: Preserving, Researching and Fostering the Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Heritage of European Deaf Signing Communities with an Integral Resource" took place two days before the conference.
The Sign-Hub-Flyer is now online
SIGN-HUB and Labex Summer School Gargnano, Garda Lake, Italy
Girls' Day at the SignTeam
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, two 15-years old high school students visited the sign language team to learn more about sign languages and our research. Not only did they learn general information about sign language linguistics in Göttingen, both also had the possibility to look into our research methods. In a trying out an experiment in the sign language lab, both were asked to imitated a cartoon with gestures, which our deaf team member Jens Cramer presented in DGS afterwards. The students reported later that "the comparison between the two videos showed us that pantomime and sign language are not the same". "At lunch, we also noticed what it means to communicate in DGS and German at the same time." After lunch we offered them a short DGS course, in which both learned first DGS signs and short sentences. All in all, it was an exciting day with many new experiences for the students as well as for our team.
Lecture tour in the south of Europe: Bulgaria
In the young EU member state Bulgaria and its Deaf community, there is great enthusiasm for learning more about sign language linguistics and interpretation. Therefore, the non-profit organization "Listen Up" and the Bulgarian association of the Deaf invited our deaf team member Liona Paulus to a lecture tour. The workshop, which took place in the capital Sofia, consisted of many talks, interesting discussions and a lively exchange. Another lecture was given in the city of Plovdiv, which is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. It was the first time that deaf interpreters translated DGS and International Sign into Bulgarian Sign Language (BZHE). The lecture tour was successful, but also exhausting. However, the hospitality and cordiality of the Bulgarian people and the delicious Bulgarian cuisine more than compensate for these efforts.
The first 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.
Job ad: DGS lecturer
The Department of German Language and Literature at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen is inviting applications for the position of a Lecturer (male/female) for German Sign Language, salary group E13 TVL, to be taken on at Oktober 1, 2017. The position is for a regular working time of (currently) 39.8 hrs per week on a five-year contract. More information (only in German) here.
"Die kannten keine gehörlosen Flüchtlinge" - A portrait with Ibrahim Al Kadir (by Verena Pauer in collaboration with the SignLab)
Es ist Samstagnachmittag im Januar. Im Kulturwissenschaftlichen Zentrum der Universität Göttingen herrscht Hochbetrieb. Tische werden hin und her gerückt, Leinwände aufgebaut, Poster aufgehängt. Die Vorbereitungen für die 3. Göttinger Nacht des Wissens laufen auf Hochtouren. Auf einmal taucht ein junger Mann auf...read more (only in German).
Workshop "Anaphora Resolution in Sign and Spoken Languages - Theoretical and Experimental Dimensions" (ARISAS)
In an relaxed atmosphere the international workshop "Anaphora Resolution in Sign and Spoken Languages - Theoretical and Experimental Dimensions" (ARISAS) took place on 20th and 21st of February 2017. In the mansion of the gradute school of humanities Göttingen, a variety of talks was presented. The invited speakers Petra Schumacher (University of Cologne) and Emar Maier (University of Groningen) shed light on the topic of anaphora resolution from experimental as well as from theoretical perspective. We would like to thank all participants for the fruitful discussions and new ideas!
Dr. Nina-Kristin Pendzich finished her PhD!!!
CONGRATULATIONS! In August 2016, Nina submitted her dissertation and she successfully defended it in February 2017. Her dissertation deals with lexical nonmanuals and the interface with gestures and emotions. The theoretical classification of lexical nonmanuals is based on three comprehensive empirical studies on German Sign Language (DGS). The day of her defense was a huge success with a lot of fun. As we can see on the picture, Nina followed the Göttingen tradition to climb up the Gänseliesel fountain and kiss the Gänseliesel. We all celebrate with her!
SIGN-HUB and LABEX Summer School in Sign Language Linguistics
The SIGN-HUB Summer School 2017 addresses theoretical and experimental issues in sign language linguistics including research in the domains of the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of sign languages. More information here.
3. Nacht des Wissens in Göttingen
The SignTeam was part of the "3. Nacht des Wissens", which took place in Göttingen on Saturday the 21st of January. We presented information about sign language and our work and had many attractions. Every hour, we offered a beginner course in German Sign Language (DGS) and they were always full even till 11pm. Many interested people came by to test the colorful info wheel and the self-made hand biscuits and discussed with us various aspects of sign languages. Kids also had fun playing story-cubes and telling stories with gestures only and many parents were informed about topics such as inclusion, interpreting, and CIs. Now, some pupils want to take courses in the future and write about sign languages in school. It was a very successful night! Many pictures can be found on Facebook and an interview about our stand here.
Job ad: Head of laboratory
The Department of German Language and Literature at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen is inviting applications for the position of a Head of Laboratory (male/female) at the Sign Language Lab of Göttingen University salary group E13 TVL to be taken on at the earliest possible date. The laboratory is supervised by Prof. Dr. Markus Steinbach. The position is for a regular working time of (currently) 39.8 hrs per week on a long-term contract. More information here.
Workshop on Anaphora Resolution in Sign and Spoken Languages - Theoretical and Experimental Dimensions (ARISAS), February 20-21, 2017
This workshop combines theoretical approaches with typological and experimental ones in order to yield a better understanding of anaphoric relations across languages and language modalities. It aims at bringing together junior and senior researchers from different sub-fields of linguistics, gestural research and cognitive science working on anaphora resolution from various perspectives. See here for further information and the program.
SignTeam Workshop 2017
On Monday, 9th of January 2017, the Sign Team organized an internal workshop, where all team members presented their work. All current and new projects were presented and discussed. Finally, we rounded off our successful workshop with a dinner together.
The Göttingen Sign Team wishes a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christmas Party 2016
Once again, the yearly Christmas party of our "Gebärdentreff" took place on 6th of December with mulled wine, punch and degrees below zero. We spent a cozy evening in a large round of many flying hands, eating, drinking, and chatting along happily. We are looking forward to seeing a lot of new and familiar faces at the first Gebärdentreff of the new year on January 10th.
Congresso Nacional de Pesquisas em Linguistica de Linguas de Sinais
Over 800 deaf and hearing participants visited the Congresso Nacional de Pesquisas em Linguistica de Linguas de Sinais, which took place from November 28-30 at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil. The SignTeam Göttingen took part with two invited presentations, one workshop and a poster presentation. We were really impressed by the warm hospitality and the inspiring and inspirational scientific exchange during the conference - not to speak about the wonderful weather and the good food.
Dr. Annika Hübl finished her PhD!!!
CONGRATULATIONS! In October 2016, Annika successfully defended her dissertation. Her dissertation deals with different forms of reported speech in sign languages and particularly with the modality-specific phenomenon of role-shift. She analyzes indexicals (I, you, here, now) in quoted utterances and compares those 'hybrid' forms of reported speech with different quotative analyses suggested for spoken languages. The day of her defense was a huge success with a lot of fun. And as we can see, Annika followed the Göttingen tradition and kissed the Gänseliesl. We all celebrate with her!
International Sign and American Sign Language
The Sign Team Göttingen invited two deaf professionals to learn more about International Sign and American Sign Language (ASL). Our workshop took place September, 26-30 2016. In the first three days, Sujit Sahasrabudhe took us on a multilingual journey and showed us the use of International Sign and various communication strategies that help us to communicate with people using different sign languages.
The following two days, Pinky Gehrcke taught us American Sign Language (ASL) and we learned many ASL signs. At international conferences, ASL is used more and more as the scientific language of academia and therefore we now have to practice further to enable barrier-free communication in the future. Both courses were fantastic and we had a lot of fun.
FEAST conference 2016 and SignHub Meeting in Venice
Many of the SignTeam went to the FEAST conference in Venice to present recent work in two talks and two posters. It was a wonderful and very successful workshop and the city was amazing as usual. Part of the group stayed for two more days to work in the SignHub Meetings of the European project Horizon 2020, where representatives of the participating countries from Italy, France, Spain, Island, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Germany fruitfully discussed future work.
New research project "(In)visible Life Stories"
The federal state of Lower Saxony is funding a new research project on the documentation of the life stories of elderly deaf people in the program PRO*Niedersachsen. The aim of this project is to systematically record, document, evaluate, protect, and analyze the comprehensive linguistic and cultural heritage of elderly deaf people in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. These life stories video-recorded in an endangered language offer an invaluable insight and provide a corpus for pursuing scientific investigations in social sciences, cultural studies, as well as in the fields of linguistics and history. Apart from long-term data storage, the project will make selected video data available to academia but also to the public. Signed stories will be published on a trilingual barrier-free internet platform including subtitles and feedbackoptions to give the public access to this extremely precious cultural heritage. In addition, the data will provide the basis for a touring exhibition that presents selected examples of these stories to the general society. More information here.
Sign Theatre Project "Mal wieder Grimm"
More information: sign theatre project in Göttingen
Conference "Gesture - Creativity - Multimodality" of the ISGS in Paris
The sign language team took part in the 7th conference of the ISGS (International Society for Gesture Studies). This event took place in Paris, July 18-22, 2016. There were interesting talks and posters on gesture and sign language studies as well as nice weather, good food and many flying hands. We spent a wonderful and exciting week there and return to Göttingen with a lot of new insights.
Handbook "Laut, Gebärde, Buchstabe" has been published
The new Handbook "Handbuch Laut, Gebärde, Buchstabe" (Handbook Sound, Sign, Letter) edited by Ulrike Domahs and Beatrice Primus has been published. The handbook pursues a completely new idea - in detailed review articles, experts from different fields describe various phonological categories from a modality-specific perspective. The SignTeam Göttingen has contributed four articles on the following topics: syllable, prosody, language change, and language processing in sign languages. More information here.
The Göttingen Sign Team goes canoeing
For this years staff outing, we went canoeing on the river Leine quite close to Göttingen. The river winds through a beautiful landscape with bushes and trees hanging over the water, which gave us a pretty djungle-like impression. The 20 km section went from Greene to Alfeld and let us feel our muscles even during the next day. But, the wonderful weather and our yummy picnic will be remembered much longer.
Annual meeting of the priority program XPrag.de in Tübingen
Our sign language team presented the first exciting results of a new ERP study on anaphora resolution and the interpretation of R-loci in DGS at the annual meeting of the priority program XPrag.de in Tübingen.
Symposium on "Translanguaging and repertoires across signed and spoken languages: Insights from linguistic ethnographies in (super)diverse contexts"
The symposium on "Translanguaging and repertoires across signed and spoken languages: Insights from linguistic ethnographies in (super)diverse contexts" organized by Annelies Kusters will take place in Göttingen, June 20-21 2016. It will be live-streamed. More information here.
The RTG 2070 "Understanding Social Relationships", the CRC "Text Structures" and Linguistics in Göttingen (LinG) jointly invite you to a talk by Irene Mittelberg on "Crossmodal meaning construction: Gestures as mediators between linguistic structure and pragmatics".
Date: Wednesday, May 11th at 14:30 at the RTG 2070 Colloquium.
Location: CRC Text structures, Nikolausberger Weg 23, Library 2nd floor.
Screening and Discussion of the film "Ishaare - Gestures and Signs in Mumbai"
On 3rd of May 2016 at 11:00-13:00, the documentray fim "Ishaare - Gestures and Signs in Mumbai" directed by Dr. Annelies Kusters will be presented and discussed in the library hall of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Herrmann-Föge-Weg 11).
Workshop "Sign language agreement revisited: new theoretical and experimental perspectives ", February 23-26, 2016, University of Konstanz
Research in the last 30 years has shown that agreement in sign languages differs in interesting ways from agreement in spoken languages. It has been shown that agreement in sign language is subject to grammatical restrictions. At the same time, its gestural basis and typological uniformity have questioned the grammatical status of agreement in sign language. This workshop aims at expanding our understanding on agreement in sign languages in particular and natural languages in general through different typological, experimental, corpus-based, and theoretical approaches.
New Video about XPrag-project "SignRef"
New video on experimental pragmatics in sign language introducing the XPrag-project "SignRef" at Göttingen University. Subtitles are available in German and English. Please use video player settings to change it!
SignGes - a new Competence Center for Sign Language and Gesture opens at the RWTH University of Aachen
The opening event organized by the SignGes competence center of the RWTH University of Aachen addresses the two multimodal communication forms sign languages and gesture. The focus of the interdisciplinary lectures is on the impact of gestures and sings for cultural communication. New research projects investigating the relation between signs and gestures as well as their differences in use and structure will be presented.
Here you will find the lectures as videos.
The SignTeam in Melbourne!
The sign language team again took part in the TISLR conference (Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research), the biggest sign language conference worldwide. The event took place from January 4th - 7th 2016 in Melbourne/Australia. The long way downunder to the other side of the world was worth while. It was a wonderful start of the new year with exciting talks, interesting posters and a lot of nice meetings with wonderful people.
Signlab Göttingen supports this year's Children's Book Week in Göttingen
This year's motto of the Children's Book Week "Ich kann (auch) anders - Anderssein hat viele Gesichter" is not only reflected in the authors' books but also in the access to it. Children with different languages should benefit from it. Therefore some lectures will take place in sign language (with the author Lena Feuerstein), in simple language (with actresses and actors of the Young Theatre) or are held bilingual. More information: "Göttinger Kinder- und Jugendbuchwoche".
New EU project to document the linguistic and cultural heritage of Deaf communities in Europe
Together with partners from other European countries and Israel, the sign Lab Göttingen succeeded in raising 2,5 million euros funding for a collaborative EU project in the Horizon 2020 call "Reflective Society" (Research and Innovation Action). The focus of the project is on the documentation of the language and cultural heritage of Deaf people in Europe, a particular linguistic minority. In the next four years, the project partners will built several multilingual reference grammars available online, a digital atlas of linguistic structures of sign languages, online assessment instruments for sign languages and a digital archive of life narratives by elderly signers. More information: "Horizon 2020 - linguistic historical and cultural heritage of European Deaf signing communities".
Conference "Nonmanuals at the Gesture Sign Interface (NaGSI)"
On 9th and 10th of October 2015 the international conference "Nonmanuals at the Gesture Sign Interface" (NaGSI), which was organized by Nina-Kristin Pendzich, Annika Herrmann and Markus Steinbach and co-funded by the Graduate School of Humanities (GSGG), took place in the rooms of the GSGG. There were eleven presentations and six posters by PhD students and postdocs as well as four presentations by the invited speakers Diane Brentari (Chicago), Rachel Mayberry (San Diego), Wendy Sandler (Haifa) and Okan Kubus (Hamburg). The presentations focused on the analysis of nonmanual markers in different sign languages from various perspectives. Topics were, among others, the formal and functional properties of grammatical and gestural nonmanual markers, the relevance of nonmanual markers in phonology, prosody, syntax and morphology and nonmanual markers in narration. The book prize for the best poster presentation was awarded to Joanna Filipczak, Trevor Johnston, Anna Kuder, Piotr Mostowski and Pawel Rutkowski. We would like to thank all of the participants for the successful conference NaGSI!
Documentary film "Ishaare - Gestures and Signs in Mumbai"
"Ishaare" has a double meaning: it means "gestures" in Hindi and Marathi, but it also means "signs", as such indicating that there cannot be made a strict distinction between them. However, whilst there seems to be overlap between gestures and sign language, they differ too, as the protagonists of the movie show and tell us. The film "Ishaare" documents how six deaf signers communicate with familiar and unfamiliar hearing shopkeepers, street vendors, customers, waiters, ticket conductors and fellow travellers in Mumbai. When enquiring, selling, bargaining and chitchatting, these deaf and hearing people use gestures and signs, and they also lipread, mouth, read and write in different spoken languages. In the film, they share how they experience these ways of communication.
Workshop on Sentence Types and Mood, October 12, 2015, University of Göttingen
This workshop aims to bring together linguists from Göttingen within their diverse research fields to discuss their work as it relates to Sentence Types and Mood in all its instantiations, both in spoken and sign languages, within a formal theoretic framework.
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.
The Sign Team at the Day of the Deaf in Göttingen
On Saturday, 19th of September 2015, the sign language team was present at the day of the Deaf in Göttingen. After the presentations given by Oliver Böse from DGS corpus project in Hamburg and Helmut Vogel, the president of the German Deaf Federation (DGB), Annika Herrmann and Jana Hosemann gave a talk about our team in Göttingen. At an information stand, we presented our work, informed about our research and the new theater project (Theater im OP) and met a lot of old friends and new acquaintances. It was a completely successful and exciting day. Thanks to the great organization and to all participants of the Day of the Deaf in Lower Saxony.
Summer school and workshop on negation
A universal property of natural language is that every language is able to express negation. However, languages may differ to quite a large extent as to how they express this negation. Not only do languages vary with respect to the position of negative elements, the form of negative elements and the interpretation of sentences that consist of multiple negative elements are also subject to broad cross-linguistic variation. The study of the behaviour of sentential negation has therefore strongly been guided by the question as to what determines the possible ways that sentential negation can manifest itself. This question, however, has not only strong repercussions for the study to the syntax and semantics of negation and related phenomena, such as negative and positive polarity phenomena, but also for the investigation of the way how negation is expressed is acquired by children, how it changes over time, and how it is expressed on non-spoken languages.
Day of the Deaf
On 19th of September 2015 the Day of the Deaf will take place in Göttingen. The SignTeam will be represented with a talk and an information stand. Flyer Sign Language in Göttingen (SLG)
Current Trends in International Researches in Deaf Studies and Sign Language Linguistics
The Workshop on ''Current Trends in International Researches in Deaf Studies and Sign Language Linguistics'' took place in the new conference room of the GSGG, 13th of July 2015. Various exciting talks were presented with different topics such as the sign language acquisition outside of deaf schools, improving the use of websites for deaf users by visual elements, the different types of Deaf Spaces in our societies and the positioning of interrogative pronouns in DGS. An important issue was how the sign language community can benefit from recent research on Deaf Studies and sign languages. The speakers and guests came from Belgium, Brazil, Germany, India, Turkey and the United States. After the workshop, there was a champagne reception with interesting short reports and stories from the different deaf cultures. We would like to thank all of the participants for this successful multicultural and multilingual workshop.
The SignTeam visiting the Euro Deaf 2015 Soccer EM
Germany against Russia in the quarter final. Unfortunatly Germany lost 2:1 !
We congratulate the European Champion Turkey!
Sign Language Team in Barcelona!
Our sign language team was again represented at this year's conference FEAST in Barcelona (Formal and Experimental Approaches to Sign Language Theory). It was a successful and exciting workshop in great surroundings at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Following the conference, the Outreach Session of the European project COST Action IS1006 took place: "SignGram: Unraveling the grammars of European sign languages: pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage".
Master's thesis about interrogative sentences in sign languages: Thank you for participating!
Sina Jahnke and Elisabeth Volk have written their Master's thesis about interrogative sentences in sign languages and conducted an experimental study on German Sign Language. They would like to thank all of the people who participated in the experiment! Sina and Elisabeth recently finished their MA studies and since April, they are new members of the sign language team.
Dissemination videos of the COST-Action SignGram are now in 9 different sign languages online.
"Dr. Jana Hosemann finished her PhD!!!"
CONGRATULATIONS! In February 2015, Jana submitted her dissertation and successfully defended it in April. In her dissertation, she presents 4 different EEG-studies investigating the cognitive processing of German Sign Language sentences. Each study examined a different linguistic phenomenon: the range comprised phonological, morpho-syntactic, and semantic aspects of German Sign Language. The day of her defense was a huge success with a lot of fun. And as we can see on the picture, Jana also managed the Göttingen tradition to climb up the Gänseliesl. We all celebrate with her!
Prof. Susan Fischer in Göttingen: ''Sign Language Surprises: Why Typology Matters''
This Wednesday, 22nd of April 2015, Prof. Susan Fischer (CUNY, New York) visited our team in Göttingen and gave a talk on the comparison of Western sign languages and Asian sign languages. She is one of the leading pioneers on sign language research and we were very honored to welcome her in Göttingen. A lot of people came to attend her inspiring bilingual presentation.
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
On 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.
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.
Fourth 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
Drawing 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.
Liona 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 www.achterbahnshow.de/achterbahn-tv.
Talk 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
Congratulations: 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
From 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
On 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
This project investigates a characteristic of sign languages which is directly linked to the modality-specific realization of morphosyntactic, semantic, and pragmatic categories in the three-dimensional signing space: Sign languages actively use the geometrical properties of the signing space to establish discourse referents and disambiguate anaphoric relationships in a way which is alien to oral-auditory languages. The objective of the project is a theory of the linguistic structure and cognitive processing of anaphoric relations and discourse referents in sign language that is based on empirical and experimental data. On the one hand, this will contribute to the understanding of an under-studied language in the visual-gestural modality. On the other hand, it will also broaden our knowledge of the human language faculty in general and will provide new insights into the influence of modality on linguistic structure.
Bengt Förster in Göttingen
In 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
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.
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: http://lautloseflucht-derfilm.de
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
"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 Department
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
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 "Complex Sentences and Beyond in Sign and Spoken Languages" , October 13 - 14, 2011
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
24. February 201: Opening of the Sign Language Lab