UCL Events


CANCELLED: Lunch Hour Lecture: What can sign languages tell us about human language?

17 March 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

a montage of photos of people doing sign language

CANCELLED. This event has been cancelled following the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in London. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Event Information

Open to





Emma Hart


Darwin Lecture Theatre
Darwin Building
Gower Street

About the lecture:
Language is a fundamental part of what makes us human – for this reason, language has been of scientific interest for several hundred years. But the vast majority of this interest has been in spoken language. Sign languages used by deaf communities are also languages. This talk will outline how sign languages are the same as spoken languages in terms of how they are structured and how they are used, how they differ from spoken languages, and what all of this tells us about the human capacity for language generally.

BSL/English interpreters will be provided.

About the Speaker

Dr. Kearsy Cormier

Reader in Sign Linguistics at UCL Department of Linguistics

Dr. Kearsy Cormier is Reader in Sign Linguistics in the UCL Department of Linguistics and also Deputy Director at the UCL Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre. Kearsy got her PhD in 2002 from University of Texas then worked as a Lecturer at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol for 3 years before taking up a post as Senior Researcher at DCAL at UCL in 2006. Her research is on the structure and use of sign languages and also visual language more generally.