UConn Faculty Fellow
“Sign Language Acquisition: Archiving and Sharing”
Diane Lillo-Martin is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the department of Linguistics at UConn. Her work investigates the nature of the human capacity for language as revealed by studies of sign languages, language acquisition, and especially the acquisition of sign languages. This work has focused on the acquisition of American Sign Language (ASL) by Deaf children with Deaf, signing parents, but also includes the acquisition of ASL by Deaf children having delayed linguistic input, and most recently, by children who are growing up bilingual in ASL and spoken English. Her publications include Sign Language and Linguistic Universals, and the ASL e-book Sign Language Acquisition by Deaf and Hearing Children.
In her research, Lillo-Martin has collected video recordings of children using ASL in interactions with their Deaf parents and other signers. The primary project of her fellowship involves the development of a digital archive through which these videos and other legacy data will be shared with the signing and research communities. There is no comparable archive in the U.S. and its construction involves issues at the intersection of humanities, community involvement, technology, and science.