Meet the SignMorph Team

Screenshot 2021-05-11 at 13_edited.png

ADAM SCHEMBRI

Principal Investigator

I am a hearing linguist, originally from Australia. My research interests focus on the linguistics of sign languages, particularly British Sign Language and Auslan (the majority sign language of the Australian deaf community). I have published work on a range of topics, including the lexicon, morphosyntax, typology, and sociolinguistics of sign languages.

HANNAH LUTZENBERGER

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am a hearing linguist who obtained a BA in sign languages from Hamburg University and a research Master in Linguistics with a specialisation in sign language linguistics from Amsterdam University. For my PhD dissertation, I investigated phonology in Kata Kolok, looking at variation across adult signers and its acquisition by deaf children. Within the SignMorph project, I am excited to continue my work on Kata Kolok and I am particularly looking forward to the challenge of figuring out how to keep methods similar across different signing communities. My main research interests are language acquisition, language variation, and language documentation.

Unknown.png
Screenshot 2022-02-22 at 16.59.27.png

ARJUN SHRESTHA

PhD SignMorph Student

I am a Deaf researcher from Nepal. I graduated with an MSc Language Sciences with Specialisation in Sign Language and Deaf Studies from University College London (UCL) in 2019 with full support of Chevening Scholarship Award. Previously, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Education and Linguistics from Gallaudet University, USA, 2015, also with full support of World Deaf Scholarship award. Before coming to Birmingham, I was working to support the development of Nepali Sign Language (NSL) and bilingual education of Deaf children in Nepal.

MARAH JARAISY

Project-linked AHRC Midlands4Cities PhD student

I am a hearing researcher who received my BA in Human Services and English Language and Literature from the University of Haifa, and my MA in Applied Linguistics (focusing on sign language linguistics) from the Bar-Ilan University. I am Palestinian, and my work focuses on Kufr Qassem Sign Language (KQSL) - a micro-community sign language that emerged in the Palestinian town of Kufr Qassem in what is now known as Israel. For my PhD, I am looking at how the changing social circumstances and dynamics in Kufr Qassem are affecting morphological aspects in sign language use in the KQSL community.

MJ-photo (1).jpeg
Unknown.jpeg

REHANA OMARDEEN

Visiting Scholar 2021-2022

I am a hearing linguist from Trinidad and Tobago. My PhD work focused on the documentation and description of Providence Island Sign Language, used in Providence/Providencia, Colombia. I am broadly interested in documenting and researching Caribbean signed and spoken languages from a multimodal perspective, and particularly interested in the way languages are used in conversation. Previously, I’ve studied at Swarthmore College in the US (BA), and at Radboud University in the Netherlands (MA). From September 2021 to March 2022, I was a visiting researcher on the SignMorph project.

HEIDI PROCTOR

Research Fellow 2022

I am a hearing linguist from the UK, working part-time with the SignMorph team while Hannah Lutzenberger is on maternity leave. I hold an MSc in Language Sciences with specialisation in Sign Language Studies and I am currently completing my PhD at University College London. For my PhD, I am investigating the structure of noun phrases produced by deaf signers recorded in the BSL Corpus. I have also conducted an online judgement task, asking for deaf signers’ ratings of noun phrases. In the SignMorph project I am excited to be using similar tools to investigate the morphological features of BSL.

KELLY MERRIMAN

Research Projects Portfolio Administrator (SignMorph)