UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre


Sannah Gulamani


I have a BA in Music and a background in deaf education and developing various accessible topical resources. However, subsequently I developed a strong interest in sign language linguistics; in particular, sociolinguistics of BSL, corpus linguistics, second language acquisition in hearing signers with attention to modality and language effects, and applied linguistics. I completed an MA in Applied Linguistics and Communication with Birkbeck University in 2019, specialising with a dissertation that looked at language attitudes and ideologies in the British Deaf Community toward hearing signers.

I've been based at DCAL since 2013, working in various roles and projects associated with the BSL Corpus and supported the development of features (regional pages and BSL-English search function) in BSL Signbank, our online lexical dictionary. The various projects I have been or currently involved in has a wide scope; developing standard annotation practices for cross-linguistics, language development in deaf babies and children, intervention methods and testing of science concepts, sign language documentation at the phonology, lexical, morphology levels and constructed action and the role it plays in conversation and narrative data.

Currently, I am a Research Assistant on the Enactment Project, enactment being a complex usage and function of BSL that to date has not been explored and understood fully, particularly with natural discourse data. We will be looking at how enactments are produced and used using conversation and personal narratives of the BSL Corpus, in the hope that this will contribute to further understanding of BSL linguistics. In my other role, I am a Reasonable Adjustment Co-ordinator in which I manage interpreting and communication support bookings. In addition, to these two roles, I've also supported in the administration and the leading/co-leading of sessions at Discover UCL and British Sign Language Summer Schools. DCAL is a wonderful environment to be part of, linguistically rich and working with multi-talented people.

E-mail: s.gulamani@ucl.ac.uk