Dr Pamela Perniss

pamela perniss

I have been at DCAL as a Marie Curie fellow since the beginning of 2008, working together with Professor Gabriella Vigliocco.

My research at DCAL concerns the relationship between language and cognition, specifically investigating the impact of differences in encoding visuospatial information on the language-cognition interface. I address this question both across and within language modalities, thus investigating the relative influences of language modality (i.e. differences in the potential for iconic representation) vs. language typology (i.e. differences in the obligatory linguistic encoding of spatial information).

Before coming to DCAL, I was a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. My dissertation, entitled "Space and Iconicity in German Sign Language (DGS)", provides an account of iconic mapping in the visual-spatial modality, investigating the impact of linguistic, discourse, and articulatory constraints on iconicity in sign languages. In particular, I focused on the expression of location and motion in spatial descriptions, and at the interplay between perspective, frames of reference, and classifier predicates.

I also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Radboud University, Nijmegen in the VIDI project "Relations between modality and language structure: Insights from comparisons of sign languages and gestures" with Dr. Asli Ozyurek (PI). This project investigates the role of the visual-spatial modality in shaping the linguistic structure of sign languages by comparing the use of space in coreferential structures in Turkish (TID) and German (DGS) Sign Languages and in the co-speech gestures of Turkish and German speakers. I will be returning to work within this project after completing my two-year Marie Curie fellowship.

You can access information on some of my publications here

E-mail: Dr. Pamela Perniss