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Published on May 22, 2017
This event took place at the British Academy on 12 May 2017.
Speaker: Professor Bencie Woll FBA, University College London
Chaired by: Professor Aditi Lahiri FBA, University of Oxford
Sign languages are universally found wherever Deaf communities exist, and are the world’s only truly ‘young’ languages, unrelated to the spoken languages which surround them. This presentation will review the history of British Sign Language – the language of the British Deaf community – and recent linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and neurolinguistic research on the language. Research on signed language creates a new perspective on our understanding of human language generally, helping us consider the origins of human language, how language is processed in the brain, what the universal properties of human language are, and the relationship of how language is produced and perceived to the structure of language itself.
About the speaker: Bencie Woll is Director of the Deafness Cognition and Language Centre at University College London. Her research and teaching interests embrace a wide range of topics related to sign language and deaf studies, including sign language linguistics, language acquisition in deaf children, sign language impairments, and language and the brain.
In partnership with PhilSoc - The Philological Society.