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The Institut Jean-Nicod (IJN) Sign Language Group is part of LINGUAE, a research group working on various aspects of human language.
This website is designed to provide specific information about the activities and the research of the group working on Sign Languages.

Goals
Contemporary linguistics and psycholinguistics have been mostly developed on the basis of spoken languages. Sign languages bring new questions and challenges, and they have proven to be a remarkable source of insights for international research. The similarities and differences between signed and spoken languages, and the specific contribution made by the gestural modality, are topics of considerable contemporary interest. We study them in a spirit of great openness: we wish to bring sign languages to bear on contemporary debates, be it to confirm or to refute (or improve) existing theoretical frameworks.

While this is a new research direction for us, our group is actively developing scientific studies of sign language, in close contact with international research on these topics. Our current foci are on sign language syntax and semantics, and the comparison between signed and spoken languages, as well as among signed languages (in particular ASL, LSF, and LIS). We also have an active interest in the methodological issues raised by elicitation of sign language data, as discussed below. Collaborations are also on-going with computational linguists and computer scientists to develop assistive technologies for Deaf and Deaf-blind singers.

Advisory Committee
We have set up an international Advisory Committee on Sign Language Research, which includes:
Diane Brentari, University of Chicago
Karen Emmorey, San Diego State University
Gaurav Mathur, Gallaudet University

Director of the group
Carlo Geraci (personal website)

International collaborations
Anna Cardinaletti, University of Ca' Foscari Venice
Carlo Cecchetto, University of Milano-Bicocca
Caterina Donati, University of Paris VII