Conference announcement & CfP: SIGN5 (October 2011 – Ankara, Turkey)



Conference Announcement and First Call for Papers
Date: 21-23 October 2011 (+ pre-conference workshops 18-20 October)
Place: Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
Organisers: Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey – International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
Submission of abstracts: 31 May 2011 (NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE)
Notification of acceptance: 15 June 2011
Deadline for early bird registration: 30 June 2011
Deadline for fee waiver applications: 30 June 2011
Deadline for registration: 01 October 2011

SIGN5 will take place on 21-23 October 2011 at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey. This is the fifth conference in the series, and it is being hosted in Turkey for the first time.
The aims of the SIGN5 conference are:
–      To broaden the international research base in sign language linguistics and Deaf Studies.
–      To bring together experienced researchers and promising junior researchers in the areas of sign languages and Deaf Studies at an international level.
–      To encourage the potential for increasing transnational cooperation in research on sign languages and Deaf Studies.
–      To include a special regional focus on Turkey as part of the conference.
–      To provide full accessibility to the conference for Deaf sign language users.

We invite contributions to SIGN5 as follows:
A. Paper presentations
Session 1: Sign language and linguistics
Studies on any aspect of linguistic structure with respect to individual sign languages or cross-linguistic comparative sign language studies.
Research on undocumented or under-documented sign languages (incl. minority sign languages, village sign languages, sign languages in developing countries, dialects, etc.).
Reports on emerging sign language linguistics in regions without substantial previous research on sign languages.
International sign language research cooperation (bi- and multilateral, models, networks, implementation).
Sign language research tools, technologies and methodologies (e.g. corpus, transcription tools, databases, fieldwork resources)
Sign language endangerment and the emergence of new sign languages.
Ethical issues in sign language research.
Session 2:  Community, Culture and Deaf Education
Sociolinguistic and anthropological studies
Country reports on the community and culture of Deaf people
Relationships between sign language researchers and Deaf communities
Policy development for sign languages, Deaf communities, and Deaf education
Education of the deaf (methodologies, bilingualism, the role of sign language in Deaf education, and the like).
Sign language interpreting and related issues.
Special session: Sign Language, Linguistics and Deaf communities in Turkey.
Sign language linguistics in Turkey (project reports, resource development, sign linguistics research, dictionaries, video materials development, etc)
New developments, emerging research, and their impact on Deaf communities
Government policies and Deaf advocacy on sign language recognition and linguistic rights of Deaf people
Education of the Deaf in Turkey (reflections on problems, research based implementation plans, etc.)
Research and regional cooperation in Turkey.
B. Workshops
Workshops can relate to any of the above topics in any of the three sessions. Submissions must demonstrate clearly that there will be an interactive element in the workshop, which will involve the workshop participants. This can include activities such as hands-on training, panel discussion, guided group work, interactive demonstration sessions, and the like. Sessions consisting of a presentation-style format only are not acceptable as workshop submissions and should be submitted as presentations.
We encourage submissions by groups of people, but submissions by individuals are possible. Submissions for double slots (2 hours) should specify the structure of the workshop (e.g. 30 minutes introductory presentations, 60 minutes hands-on training, 10 minute break, 20 minutes participant feedback).
SUBMISSION guidelines
SLOTS for presentations in all sessions are 50 minutes (presenters should aim at 40 minutes presentation and 10 minutes questions/discussion). Slots for workshops are either 50 minutes (single slot) or 2 hours (double slot).
CONFERENCE LANGUAGES are International Sign (IS) and Turkish Sign Language (Turk Isaret Dili, TID); the languages of written communication are English and Turkish. Presentations must be in International Sign or in Turkish Sign Language. Prospective participants who are not fluent in IS or TID should contact the organising committee ( about the availability of voiceover interpreting for the audience.
SUBMISSIONS should be in International Sign or Turkish Sign Language. If you are unable to submit a signed abstract, e.g. for technical reasons, we can exceptionally accept your abstract in English or Turkish. Submissions are limited to two abstracts per person as single and/or joint author. Submission options are:
a) Send a video submission of max. 5 minutes in International Sign or Turkish Sign Language as email attachment to
b) Use a web-based service such as yousendit or dropbox to share your video file with
c) Post your video submission to the iSLanDS Institute postal address:
International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies
Livesey House – LH213
University of Central Lancashire
United Kingdom
We can deal with all common video standards.c) For submitting in English or Turkish, email your abstract (500 words maximum) to
Full fee: US$ 100.-
Student fee: US$ 50.-
With fee waiver: FREE
Fees include admission to all sessions during the pre-conference workshops and the conference, the conference pack, and refreshments in the breaks. Application guidelines for fee waivers will be posted separately.
To register for the conference, please email, or go to the conference website to download a registration form.
The local organising committee will assist participants with booking accommodation near the campus, particularly for international participants. Please contact Costs for rooms start from ca. US$ 50.- per person per night.
It is likely that some financial support will be available to assist participants with travel and accommodation costs (both full and partial support). Application guidelines for financial support applications will be posted separately.
The pre-conference workshops will focus on teaching a short course in International Sign (IS) to sign language users who are not familiar with IS, as well as covering other preparatory issues in advance of the conference.
Important deadlines
Submission of abstracts: 15 April 2011
Notification of acceptance: 09 May 2011
Deadline for early bird registration: 03 June 2011
Deadline for fee waiver applications: 03 June 2011
Deadline for registration: 01 October 2011
Academic committee
Robert Adam, University College London, UK
Prof. Onno Crasborn, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Cesar Ernesto Ernesto Escobedo Delgado, National Mexican Union of the Deaf
Hasan Dikyuva, Gazi University, Turkey and University of Central Lancashire, UK
Okan Kubus, Hamburg University, Germany
Prof. Sumru özsoy, Bo?aziçi University, Turkey
Sunil Sahasrabudhe, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India
Prof. Erin Wilkinson, University of Manitoba, Canada
Sandra Wood, University of Virginia, USA
Prof. Ulrike Zeshan, University of Central Lancashire, UK           
For further details, see the SIGN5 conference website at

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