CfP: The special issue on ”Second Language Acquisition of Sign languages” in Language, Interaction and Acquisition

Call papers


The call for papers for the upcoming special issue on ”Second Language Acquisition of Sign languages” in Language, Interaction and Acquisition.

Journal website:

Guest editors: Krister Schönström, Stockholm University ( and Chloë Marshall, UCL Institute of Education (

Although there is an established and comprehensive body of research investigating Second Language Acquisition (SLA), our understanding of the area is still largely limited to spoken languages. Nevertheless, in recent years the field of Sign Second Language Acquisition (SSLA) has been growing, providing us with a greater understanding of how sign languages are acquired as second languages (see reviews by Chen Pichler & Koulidobrova, 2016; Marshall et al., 2021, and Schönström, 2021). For many second language (L2) learners of sign, the task is also associated with learning a new language in a new modality, thus calling for a second modality (M2) learning situation. Much of the research on SSLA has so far explored questions related to this difference of modality from a variety of perspectives (e.g., Boers-Visker, 2020; Gulamani et al, 2020; Hilger et al., 2015; Leeson et al., 2020; Mesch & Schönström, 2021). Less studied are the acquisition of specific linguistic features of sign languages as L2s, and developmental patterns in the learning of sign languages, as well as exploring SSLA through the lens of SLA theoretical frameworks.

The special issue, which will consist of 4-5 papers, invites contributions related to the SLA of sign languages. Specifically, we invite research related to adult M1L2, learners learning a new language (L2) in the same modality (M1) (i.e., signers learning another sign language) or M2L2, learners learning a new language (L2) in a new modality (M2) (i.e., learners learning a sign language for the first time) learners as target groups. We are interested in submissions providing empirical data from a variety of methods (e.g., experimental or naturalistic data; quantitative or qualitative analyses) as well as submissions based on theoretical analyses and discussions. The special issue is open for studies related to a wide variety of linguistic phenomena and the acquisition of these structures. Priority will be given to studies that link to topics of SLA and its theoretical frameworks.

We invite interested authors to submit an abstract for consideration by the guest editors and by the editorial board of Language, Interaction and Acquisition for this special issue. Please send your abstract (1-paged abstract including a proposed title and references) to both guest editors by the deadline of 16 August 2021. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors to ensure the scope of the special issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review. We encourage interested authors to initially send their interest to publish in this issue with a proposed title and short description to the guest editors prior to the abstract submission deadline. 

Important dates:

– Abstract submission deadline: 16 August 2021
– Notification of abstract acceptance: 30 September 2021
– Full manuscript deadline: 10 January 2022
– Production deadline: May 2022
– Publication: December 2022

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