I graduated with an MA on Applied Linguistics from the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico in 2006 where I developed my interest in psycholinguistics and the acquisition of a signed language as a first language (L1). My MA thesis, entitled Phonological Access to Mexican Sign Language, investigates how the meaningless components of signs (location, handshape, movement) facilitate access to a visual mental lexicon.
I completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Gary Morgan and Prof. Bencie Woll in 2012 with a scholarship from the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT). My research focused on the emergence of a phonological system in hearing adults learning a signed language as a second language (L2). Specifically, I investigated how sign structure and experience processing iconic co-speech gestures influence the development of a visual phonological system in L2 learners.
I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University under the supervision of Prof. Asli Özyürek. In collaboration with other team members I am investigating L1 development in Turkish Sign Language and how parental input shapes children’s preference for certain iconic signs. My main research interests are bimodal bilingualism, lexical access to signs, sign L1 and L2 acquisition and gesture.
Direct contact: Gerardo Ortega