Workshop on interrogatives and imperatives in the visual modality
On May 16 and 17, the SignLabs of the University of Amsterdam and the University of Göttingen organized a joint workshop on interrogative and imperative sentence types and speech acts in the visual modality at the University of Amsterdam. The first day focused on methods, with different sessions devoted to different elicitation methods and experimental designs, data annotation and data analysis. On the second workshop day, five research groups from Barcelona, Bergen, Amsterdam and Göttingen presented results of their recent empirical studies on interrogatives and imperatives in the visual modality as well as on and related topics. You can find more information on the workshop website.
Class on visual communication at the 34th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI)
In recent formal semantic research, both sign language and co-speech gestures have been analyzed by applying the theories established for spoken languages to visual meaning aspects. Only little attention has been paid to modelling the specific properties of the visual transmission channel. However, it is now becoming evident that the formal linguistic repertoire needs to be extended to meet the modality-specific requirements of visual communication such as the higher degree of iconicity of gestures and signs, the systematic use of the body of the speaker or signer and the space in front of the body to express, for instance, logical variables, comparative constructions, tense, topographic relations or context shift and the option to demonstrate actions and events. In this class on the semantics of visual communication, we will discuss selected examples illustrating the expressive power of visible communication and discuss recent formal accounts that enhance the formal linguistic apparatus to develop formally precise theories that can deal with and model the semantics of visual and multimodal communication. You can find more information on the website of ESSLLI 2023.
New GSGG funding line for accessibility for PhD students
The Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG) understands the reduction of communicative barriers as part of its mission to offer all members the best possible conditions for a successful completion of their PhD thesis. The GSGG therefore supports severely disabled and chronically ill PhD students who require special support in order to take advantage of qualification and networking opportunities. More information about the funding line and a first success story can be found here (only in German).
Joint research-oriented ViCom colloquium summer term 2023
This semester, we offer a seminar on visual communication in cooperation with the Goethe-University Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. Cornelia Ebert) and the University of Wuppertal (Prof. Dr. Stefan Hinterwimmer). The seminar investigates the special features and linguistic significance of visual communication. This comprises sign languages as fully developed natural languages which exclusively rely on the visual channel for communication, but also visual means that enhance spoken and written languages such as gestures or emojis. Recent research on sign language and co-speech gestures in spoken languages shows that the expressivity of the visual-gestural modality provides direct insights into the semantic and pragmatic structure of utterances. In addition, iconic aspects of language play a central role in the evolution and constitution of meanings in sign language and co-speech gestures. You can find more information on the ViCom website.
Public lecture series on discrimination
Society is in a period of transition. Current crises challenge everyone to leave their comfort zone. Existing resentments are coming to light more and more openly. There has been a sharp increase in racist and anti-Semitic attacks. At the same time, universities and research institutions are not discrimination-free spaces. The risks of discrimination that can be found in everyday university life is still underestimated. The University of Göttingen has decided to develop a discrimination protection concept. We want to take this as an opportunity to deal with the topic intensively for one semester. The current lecture series will examine discrimination in its various manifestations. It is about the dismantling of discriminatory structures, the increase of mutual respect and the call for equal participation of all participants in science, studies, the workplace and daily interaction in an ever faster changing society. More information about the lecture series can be found here (only in German).
First ViCom theory workshop
From March 28 to 30, 2023, the first theory workshop of our new priority program Visual Communication (ViCom) will take place in Königstein im Taunus. Over the three days, we will explore formal semantic and cognitive theories of visual communication in detail together with our first Mercator Fellow Philippe Schlenker. The focus will be on how classical semantic theories can be extended to meet the specific requirements of the visual-gestural modality. Another important question will be the semantic interaction of the different modalities in multimodal communication. You can find more information about the workshop and the priority program here.
Our language calendar for DGS in the magazine Life InSight
In the current issue of the lifestyle magazine "Life InSight", which is about topics around the sign language community, our language calendar for DGS got a place :-). You can find more information about the magazine here: www.life-insight.de
Sign languages and visible communication - Special session at the NELS
The special session on "Sign Languages and Visible Communication" at this year's annual meeting of the North Eastern Linguistic Society (NELS) was a great success. About 80 participants attended the workshop, the poster presentation, and the plenary talk by Diane Brentari. We would like to thank all presenters and participants and the international team of interpreters for the exciting presentations and interesting discussions and look forward to further research and discussions on this highly topical issue in linguistic research.
Sign Lab expands interactive e-learning module for the introductory courses on German Sign Language.
The state of Lower Saxony supports a new project of the Sign Lab Göttingen within the funding program "Innovation plus". The goal of the project is to extend our successful multimedia e-learning module to the introductory courses DGS II and III. Building on the e-learning module developed in 2020 for the introductory course DGS I, the new module will again consist of four different components: (i) lexicon, (ii) exercises, (iii) glossary and (iv) grammar. The extension of our basic module to the more advanced DGS courses will contribute significantly to a sustainable improvement of sign language teaching at the University of Göttingen. More information can be found here.
Special session on visual communication and sign language at the 53rd NELS conference at the University of Göttingen
Part of the 53rd conference of the North Eastern Linguistic Society (NELS), which will be jointly organized with the Research Training Group 2636 "Form-meaning Mismatches" is a workshop on visual communication and sign languages. This special session, which will take place on January 13, 2023, at the University of Göttingen in a hybrid fashion, was organized in collaboration with the new priority program 2329 "Visual Communication (Vicom)". We are pleased that Diane Brentari from the University of Chicago accepted our invitation as plenary speaker for this workshop. More information on the conference and the workshop can be found here.