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Formal name

International Conference of Sign Language Users


SIGN CONFERENCE: The conference series began as a workshop called Cross-linguistic Sign Language Research (CLSLR) in 2006 at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. This was repeated in Nijmegen in 2007 and in Preston, UK, in 2008, where the series was renamed SIGN, and SIGN4 was organised outside Europe, in India, for the first time in 2009. This conference series developed in a way that was strongly influenced by the agendas and preferences of deaf participants. The SIGN conference series has been explicitly global right from the beginning and focuses on sign language research. As mentioned previously, a global scope is important for capacity building because Deaf communities are quite small in number in many countries. In 2006, CLSLR1 started with 50 participants from 18 countries, while SIGN4 welcomed 120 participants from 25 countries. SIGN5 was held in Turkey in 2011 and welcomed over 200 participants from 30 countries.



The Sign6 conference will be hosted in Goa, India, from February 7-9, 2013. Goa is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. We at SIGN6 welcome the sign language users around the globe to join us in the conference. The SIGN6 conference will be hosted in India for the second time after the SIGN4 conference in New Delhi in 2009.


  • Sara Lanesman: Algerian Jewish Sign Language (AJSL): Will it survive?
  • Upendra Khanal: Age-related sociolinguistic variation in sign languages, with particular reference to Nepali Sign Language
  • Soya Mori: Japanese Sign Language and the other sign languages from the newer point of view of written Japanese
  • Kang-Suk Byun: The grammatical functions of the A-handshape and the I-handshape in Korean Sign Language
  • Sunil Sahasrabudhe: Online elementary-level English literacy programme for young deaf adults using Indian Sign Language
  • Sujit Sahasrabudhe: Processes of Deaf Empowerment and Deafhood in Mumbai and India
  • Amaresh Gopalakrishnan: Sign language corpus development – Building a corpus for Indian Sign Language
  • Ulrike Zeshan, Sibaji Panda & Charles Njejimana: Code-switching in bilingual deaf signers using Burundi Sign Language and Indian Sign Language
  • Thora Hubner: Medial communication and the Deaf community in Mumbai
  • Keiko Sagara: Findings on number from the Sign Language Typology (SLT) project: Comparing Japanese Sign Language, Chinese Sign Language and British Sign Language
  • Annelies Kusters: The study of ‘deaf space’ in Adamorobe, a ‘shared signing community’: Rethinking established concepts in Deaf Studies
  • Tamara Kovacova: Establishing training for prospective Indian Deaf peer tutors of English
  • Hitomi Akahori & Norie Oka: Bilingual photo description task in Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and written Japanese by deaf children


The fifth conference in the SIGN conference series will take place at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, on 21-23 October 2011. After the great success of SIGN4 in New Delhi, India, the SIGN conference series continues to broaden its international scope. SIGN5 will take place at Gazi University's Central Campus, using the historical Mimar Kemalettin Conference Hall as its main venue. The conference is co-organised by Gazi University and the iSLanDS Institute. In addition to the conference days on 21-23 October, there will be several days of pre-conference workshops, particularly for introducing participants to International Sign, one of the main conference languages. Prof. Yusuf Kemaloğlu has pointed out that organising this conference is an important step for Gazi University and for Turkey as a whole, as a conference of this kind has not taken place in Turkey before. The aims of the SIGN5 conference are:1. To broaden the international research base in sign language linguistics and Deaf Studies.2. To bring together experienced researchers and promising junior researchers in the areas of sign language.


  • Beyza Sümer, Inge Zwitserlood, Pamela Perniss and Asli Aslı Özyürek: The Expression of spatial relations and their acquisition in Turkish Sign Languate (TİD) by native Deaf adults and children
  • Pinar Yaprak Kemaloğlu, Yusuf Kemal Kemaloğlu and Evren Barişik: An evaluation of social institutions regarding deaf in Turkiye *Emrah Kaymaz: Explaining mathematics throu Turkish Sign Language
  • Hasret Dilsiz, Nihat Kihtir: Endangered language documentation programme: Mardin Sign Language in Turkey
  • Timothy Afolayan: Hausa Sign Language; A description of signs
  • Deniz Likbaşaran: Media Practices of Deaf youth in Turkey and social networks
  • Sam Lutalo-Kiingi: Negation and number in Uganda Sign Language
  • Sibaji Panda: Literacy development in Alipur: A village sign language community in India
  • Chibesa R. Simbule: Sign Language and Advocacy Awareness Development Association of Zambia (SLAADAZ)
  • Klisman Ibrahimi and Valmira Avdullaj: Development of multimedia resources for Albanian Sign Language
  • Hasan Dikyuva: Non-manual expressions of verbal aspect in TİD
  • Süleyman Taşci: Word formation strategies by lexicalized fingerspelling in Turkish Sign Language


was held at the conference centre of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU, New Delhi) from 17/12/2009 to 19/12/2009. The three-day conference was jointly organized by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU, New Delhi), International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS, Preston, UK), Ishara Foundation of Mumbai and Deaf Empowerment Foundation of the Netherlands. SIGN4 successfully concluded after three days of interactive presentations and discussions focusing on sign language, deaf culture, deaf education in sign language, deaf communities, Sociolinguistics of sign language and typological studies etc.


  • Sibaji Panda: The number and counting system in Alipur Village Sign Language
  • Hasan Dikyuva: Nonmanual expressions in Turkish Sign Language and Mardin Sign Language
  • Sam Lutalo-Kiingi: Writing a Reference Grammar of Ugandan Sign Language – A PhD project
  • Dharmesh Kumar, Sunil Sahasrabudhe and Ulrike Zeshan: Applied sign linguistics in India - The link between theory, research, and implementation
  • Annelies Kusters: Deaf meetings on the lifeline of Mumbai

Cross Linguistic Sign language research-3 conference (CLSLR-3)

Sign linguists from around the world offered an extraordinary glimpse into the world's rarest and most endangered sign languages and Deaf communities at a conference in February at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. Eighty researchers from 25 countries, most of them Deaf, met at the International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS) to see presentations on minority sign languages and discuss the development of research ethics in sign language studies.

Workshop on Cross-linguistic research and international cooperation in sign language linguistics

- April 10-14, 2007, Nijmegen, The Netherlands: The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in cooperation with the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK, is hosting an international workshop on "Cross-linguistic research and international cooperation in sign language linguistics" on April 10-14, 2007. The workshop will be held at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen, and the program includes a pre-workshop session on International Sign and linguistic terminology (on April 9) as well as a symposium hosted by the Deaf Empowerment Foundation (on April 12). The workshop aims at broadening the international sign language research base, promoting the spread of research infrastructure, technologies and methodologies, and exploring successful models of international cooperation, including comparative sign language research. The workshop language is INTERNATIONAL SIGN, the language of written communication is ENGLISH.

Cross-Linguistic Sign Language Research, Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. January 2006.

Status of sign language



International Societies and Congresses of sign language
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