CfP: Sign CAFÉ 1: The First International Workshop on Cognitive And Functional Explorations in Sign Language Linguistics, Birmingham, July 30-31, 2018



Sign CAFÉ 1: The First International Workshop on Cognitive And Functional Explorations in Sign Language Linguistics
July 30-31, 2018
Website (under construction):

The University of Birmingham is hosting the first international workshop on cognitive and functional approaches to sign language linguistics, or Sign CAFÉ 1. We hope that this workshop will become a regular forum to discuss approaches towards the linguistics of sign languages in the wider cognitive/functional linguistics tradition.
Broadly defined, cognitive/functional perspectives in the language sciences emphasise that the role of language as a means of communication, as a type of social action, and its relationship to other cognitive systems are all crucial to the understanding of language structure. This includes a wide range of theoretical approaches, but they each have in common the importance they place on the role of communication and cognition in both linguistic theory and description.

Invited speakers will be:
1. Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen, University of Copenhagen
2. Nick Palfreyman, University of Central Lancashire
3. TBC

The official languages of the conference will be English and International Sign (IS), with British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) as additional languages. We will provide interpreting between English and IS. We may be able to offer interpretation between signed presentations in BSL or ASL and IS/English (please contact the organiser if you would like to express an interest in this option).

Sign CAFÉ 1 invites unpublished papers addressing any aspect of sign language research from any cognitive/functional theoretical perspective, including work on phonetics, phonology, lexicon, grammar, semantics, pragmatics, discourse, as well as on gesture studies, language evolution, first or second language acquisition, sociolinguistic variation and change, linguistic typology, neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics.
We plan to have signed/spoken presentations (25 minutes and 10 minutes discussion) as well as two poster sessions.
Abstracts should be submitted in pdf format through the Sign CAFÉ 1 Easychair website: page:
Abstracts should be anonymised (with no author names in the text). The anonymous abstract should include the title and indicate whether it is intended for poster or signed/spoken presentation. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words (including tables, examples and references), in 12-point font, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
Video submission in IS, BSL or ASL is allowed (maximum length 5 minutes). Those who would like to submit a video in sign language should contact the Sign CAFÉ 1 organiser (
Abstracts will be reviewed by the Sign CAFÉ 1 Programme Committee. A maximum of two submissions (one of which must be co-authored) can be submitted by any single individual.

DEADLINE: 15th March, 2018
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 15th April, 2018

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