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Designed by: Shani Yules, Computing Division, University of Haifa

About Us

At the Sign Language Research Lab of The University of Haifa, we are interested in reaching a deeper understanding of the human language capacity through the study of the sign languages that arise in deaf communities.  By appealing to well established techniques of linguistic analysis, we are finding ways to tease apart the characteristics that universally underlie all human language from those that are influenced by the modality of transmission.   Our core research areas are the phonology, morphology, syntax, and prosody of sign languages.

Another characteristic that makes sign languages interesting to study is their youth.  While all spoken languages have ancestry reaching back many thousands of years, all known sign languages are less than 300 years old, many of them much younger than that. As a young language among young languages, Israeli Sign Language has provided us with insight into the way in which a language and its community develop together.   An exciting new research project is investigating the development of a new, isolated sign language used in a Bedouin village in Israel. 

Academic activites are the primary focus of The Sign Language Research Lab, but not the only one.  The Lab also promotes community oriented events and workshops on topics of general interest, such as story telling in sign language.