Research

Research Interests

  • Corpus and usage-based approaches in sign linguistics (see BSL Corpus & BSL SignBank)
  • British Sign Language (BSL), American Sign Language (ASL), and other signed languages
  • Language typology & language modality: similarities & differences between languages, spoken and signed
  • Sign languages and linguistic theory
  • Grammaticisation, lexicalisation & nativisation
  • The role of gesture in signed and spoken languages
  • Non-native foreign vocabulary
  • Visual motivation, iconicity & indexicality
  • Phonology, morphosyntax, syntax
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language acquisition

Funding

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), UK. 2019 - 2021. Research Grant awarded to Simon Kirby (PI), Kearsy Cormier (CI). From natural to conventional word order: iconicity, simplicity and the mechanisms of linguistic evolution. ES/R011869/1. Approx £632,000.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), UK. 2019 - 2020. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI), Gabrielle Hodge (CI). The use of mimetic actions by deaf signers of British Sign Language: A corpus-based study. ES/R011672/1. Approx £130,000.

Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK. 2018 - 2021. Research Grant awarded to Richard Bowden (PI), Kearsy Cormier (CI), Bencie Woll (CI), Andrew Zisserman (CI). ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. EP/R03298X/1. Approx £1.2million.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), UK. 2017 - 2018. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI), Kate Rowley (CI), Jordan Fenlon (CI). Language attitudes in the British deaf community: Evidence from the British Sign Language Corpus, ES/P002323/1. Approx £200,000.

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK. Dec 2016 - Nov 2019. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI), Adam Schembri (CI), Jordan Fenlon (CI). A broadly usage-based account of British Sign Language syntax, AH/N00924X/1. Approx £615,000.

Digging into Data Challenge. June 2014 - May 2015. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI, UK) and Onno Crasborn (PI, Netherlands). Digging into signs: Developing standard annotation practices for cross-linguistic quantitative analysis of sign language data. Approx £100,000 (UK) + €100,000 (Netherlands)

Australian Research Council (ARC). June 2014 - June 2017. Discovery Project Research Grant awarded to Trevor Johnston & Adam Schembri (Chief Investigators) and Kearsy Cormier & Onno Crasborn (Partner Investigators). When do gestures become linguistic? Understanding the gesture-language interface through a corpus-based study of pointing signs in sign languages, DP140102124. ASD$345,000.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). Dec 2012 - May 2014. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI), Adam Schembri (CI). Describing sociolinguistic variation in verb directionality in British Sign Language: A corpus-based study, ES/K003364/1. Approx GBP£197,000.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). Nov 2010 - June 2011. Research Grant extension awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI), Adam Schembri, Margaret Deuchar, Frances Elton, Donall O Baoill, Rachel Sutton-Spence, Graham Turner, Bencie Woll (CIs). British Sign Language (BSL) Corpus Project, ES/F017251/1.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). Jan 2008 - Nov 2010. Research Grant awarded to Adam Schembri (PI), Kearsy Cormier, Margaret Deuchar, Frances Elton, Donall O Baoill, Rachel Sutton-Spence, Graham Turner, Bencie Woll (CIs). British Sign Language (BSL) Corpus Project, ES/F017251/1. Approx GBP£1.2million.

European Science Foundation (ESF). 2007. Funding for Exploratory Workshop on Sign Language and Gesture. Co-convenor with Gary Morgan, City University. EUR€15,000.

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK. 2006-2011. Research Grant awarded to Kearsy Cormier (PI) and Sandra Smith (CI). Expression of Perspective Location and Motion (PALM): Structure and Acquisition of Classifiers and Role Shift in British Sign Language, 119360/2. Approx GBP£152,000.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. 2005-2009. Small grant awarded to David Quinto-Pozos (PI), Kearsy Cormier (CI) and Amanda Holzrichter (CI). Constructed Action in American, British and Mexican Sign Languages. Approx USD$20,000.

National Science Foundation (NSF), USA. 2000-2002. Doctoral Dissertation Grant awarded to Richard P. Meier (PI) and Kearsy Cormier (CI), #BCS000145. How American Sign Language Expresses Numerosity. Approx USD$11,000.