Pia Gehlbach

I started working for the Sign Lab in Göttingen as a doctoral researcher and member the RTG 2070 “Understanding Social Relationships” in October 2022. In my PhD project, I investigate the influence of iconicity in sign language, particularly German Sign Language, on semantic conceptualization and vice versa. Empirically, the project combines descriptive data analysis with an experimental approach. The project strives to investigate the influence of sign language iconicity on the semantic conceptualization of various types of concepts, taking both language-, or culture specific concepts, as well as more universal ones into account, in order to gain insight into both sides of the bilateral relationship between concept and iconicity. My project aims at providing a systematic overview of the kind of iconicity expressed by different signs, as well as to examine the features associated with the denoted concepts in order to see if, and how, iconicity has an impact on the way in which a specific concept is semantically conceptualized.

I hold a B.A. in General Linguistics and English, as well as a M.A. in English with a strong linguistic focus. Prior to my current position, I worked as a student assistant for the Sign Language team from 2021 on. Since May 2023 I am an associate Member of the DFG priority program 2393 ViCom.