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Published on Aug 13, 2015
Linguist and polyglot Jeremy Kuhn studies the semantics of various sign languages. Despite large surface differences between sign languages and spoken languages, he shows that languages in both forms share many striking similarities; these parallels give insight into the deeper cognitive systems underlying human language.
Jeremy Kuhn is a doctoral candidate in linguistics at NYU; in September, he will begin a research position at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Kuhn's research lies within the field of formal semantics -- that is, the study of the logical systems that underlie meaning in natural language. His particular specialty is in the burgeoning field of sign language semantics, investigating what another modality of language (visuospatial instead of auditory) can inform us about both meaning and cognition. Kuhn has studied French, Japanese, and Kazakh. He knows and has done research on two sign languages: American Sign Language (ASL) and French Sign Language (LSF).
In his second life, Kuhn is a juggler, unicyclist, fire performer, and funambulist. You can learn more about or contact him at www.jeremykuhn.net.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx