[Lingtyp] Second call for abstracts for an ALT 2022 workshop on ethics, theory, and methods in sign language typology

Lynn Hou lhou at linguistics.ucsb.edu
Tue Mar 22 07:25:42 UTC 2022

Dear everyone,

This is a second call for the ALT workshop on ethics, theory, and methods
in sign language typology. See the CfP below -- please consider submitting
an abstract by April 1st.

*Call for abstracts for an ALT 2022 workshop on ethics, theory, and methods
in sign language typology*
Erin Wilkinson and Lynn Hou

The field of sign language typology has become increasingly prominent in
recent years. The majority of the undocumented sign language diversity in
the world is located outside of the Global North. If, for scientific
reasons, linguists think it is important to embark on ambitious data
gathering projects to expand the breadth and depth of sign language
typology, then this will necessarily involve a major effort to collect data
from signing communities far from the home institutions of those projects,
and of most sign language linguists. We want to open a dialogue about
whether typological projects have benefitted or perhaps have harmed wider
signing communities, particularly those located outside of the Global
North, -- if so, then what ways? Also, we find some theoretical issues with
the use of traditional frameworks which organize languages into “language
families”: for some sign language varieties these frameworks seem to
work reasonably
well (e.g. Schembri et al 2010) but for many others they do not. These
problems are reflected in the unsatisfactory ways in which sign language
families are characterized in major cataloguing projects. In raising these
and other concerns about the theoretical, methodological, and ethical
considerations inherent in sign language typology work, this workshop hopes
to create a space for a broad discussion among the community of linguists
interested in sign language typology at ALT 14. Such discussions have been
taking place in the field already, but generally these have been in more
private networks. We believe that a more public discussion of these issues
is both timely and important to the future not only of sign language
linguistics but also of linguistic typology.

We invite everyone who can address at least one of the following issues but
not limited to:

   - Ethics of doing sign language typology research based on original
   fieldwork data and previously collected and archived data
   - Ethics of doing sign language typology that align with deaf signing
   communities’ needs
   - Methodological problems of identifying sign language varieties with
   enormous linguistic and sociolinguistic variation and collecting and
   analyzing data from these varieties
   - Theoretical issues of categorizing sign languages into ‘families’ for
   research purposes
   - Theoretical issues of surveying sign languages for comparative purposes
   - Theoretical issues of defining “sign language typology”

For more information, please contact the convenors:
Erin Wilkinson, ewilkins at unm.edu
Lynn Hou, lhou at ucsb.edu

*The following specifications are excerpted from the ALT XIV call for
Abstracts should be submitted through Easychair:

Abstracts submitted to a workshop will be jointly reviewed by members of
the ALT 2022 Abstract Review Committee and the workshop organizers.
Abstracts submitted for a workshop but not accepted there will be
automatically considered for inclusion in the general or poster session.

*Abstract specifications*
Abstracts must be anonymous: do not put your name or other identifying
information on the abstract.

Abstracts should be at a maximum length of one single-spaced page, 12pt
font, with another page (at maximum) for references and examples.

Please put this information at the top of your abstract: abstract title;
abstract category (oral, poster, oral/poster); workshop title (if

Abstract submission deadline: April 1, 2022
Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2022

Lina Hou (she/they)
Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Equity Inclusion and Diversity Advocate
Director of Making Hands lab
(Credit to Kristian Ali for the logo)

University of California, Santa Barbara
Situated on the traditional, unceded, and occupied land and water of the
Chumash people

Website: sites.google.com/view/linasigns
Office hours: By appointment

Latest publication, open access: Hou, Lynn. (2022). LOOKing for multi-word
expressions in American Sign Language. *Cognitive Linguistics*. DOI:
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