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Spatial Cognition and Memory across Signers and Speakers


Dilay Karadöller

Research DilaySign languages use real space and iconic structures as means to express spatial descriptions. For example, to represent a pencil next to a piece of paper, signers may use one hand to represent the shape of the paper sheet, the other to represent the pencil, and configure both hands next to each other in analogue way as the actual referent. Spoken languages, in contrast, do not use such iconic structures but they may do so in their accompanying gestures.

Research Dilay-2The aim of my research is to compare spatial event cognition and spatial memory in deaf signers and hearing speakers. Specifically, we will compare deaf signers who acquired sign language from birth with hearing speakers as well as deaf signers who acquired sign language later in life.

This project is supported by a Vici Grant (2015-2020) for the project "Giving cognition a hand: Linking spatial cognition to linguistic expression in native and late learners of sign language and bimodal bilinguals", awarded to Prof. Aslı Özyürek.


Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) - VICI Grant (2015 - 2020)

> Other research on sign languages