How is sign language?

Arts Main Lecture Theatre, Online - a link will be sent to you before the event
Thursday 14 March 2024 (18:00-19:00)
Photo of Adam Schembri

Professor Adam Schembri Inaugural lecture

It is now over sixty years since sign language linguistics emerged as a field of study within the language sciences. In this presentation, I explore some of our studies of Auslan and British Sign Language (the historically related majority sign languages of Australia and the UK respectively), all of which have attempted to build on the finding that sign languages are natural languages by asking the question: what *kind* of languages are they? How much does their structure resemble, and how much does it differ from, spoken languages? How has the social structure of signing communities influenced their structure and use? And what can sign languages teach us about the very nature of human language? Importantly too, what benefits can research on these questions have for the linguistic human rights of deaf communities?

The lecture will be available in person and also live-streamed if you wish to attend online. Adam will present in BSL, with BSL/English interpretation provided.

Inaugural lectures are a landmark in academic life, held on the appointment of new professorships. Join us to learn more about the work of Professor Adam Schembri

The lecture will be from 18:00 to 19:00, followed by a drinks reception.

Registration will close for this event on Monday March 11.

You can learn more about our other forthcoming talks and view our archive of previous lectures on our CAL Inaugural Lectures webpage.