As part of a project exploring sign language histories and family relationships, Assistant Professor Natasha Abner and her collaborators created a video about their research.
The video was created for a new event organized at the conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (the international conference of the Sign Language Linguistics Society), held at the University of Hamburg in September.
Similar to the Five-Minute Linguist event at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, the SIGNopsis event was intended to provide researchers with a venue to make their research accessible to a general audience. Video, rather than live presentation, was chosen as the medium to foster better showcasing of sign language data and make the material more accessible beyond the session.
Presented videos were required to be created in one of the official conference languages (English, German Sign Language, International Sign, and American Sign Language). The video created by Dr. Abner and her collaborators is presented in English (text on screen) and ASL.
The video describes the team’s ongoing research using computational phylogenetic methods to explore sign language histories and family relationships; it features research assistant Margaret Peters, one of several research assistants who work with Dr. Abner in the Sign Language and Multi-Modal Communication Lab.