Author: Lillo-Martin, Diane

2020 is here

OK, I’m a month late in mentioning it, but clearly I’m slow on news posts. However, there are lots of good things to share, so this post will start us off.

Most exciting news:

FAMILY ASL is here!

The Family ASL project is being conducted with co-PIs Elaine Gale (Hunter College) and Deborah Chen Pichler (Gallaudet University), along with many other contributors.

The goal of this project is to document the development of ASL and English by deaf children whose hearing parents have chosen to include ASL as a family language – and to study the parents’ own ASL development as well. See the Family ASL page of the SLLA Lab site for more details, and the UConn Today news piece posted next.

August 2018 Update

Classes are about to start at UConn, so here’s an update.

  • I had a great sabbatical based at Radboud University in Nijmegen – many thanks to colleagues there and around Europe who welcomed me. I still can’t believe I gave 18 talks in 6 months.
  • I’ll be teaching Ling 5110 (graduate course on Language Acquisition) and 2010Q-Honors (undergraduate course on the Science of Linguistics) this Fall.
  • The public view of ASL Signbank is now working … hooray! Check it out at Cheers to Julie Hochgesang and her crew for populating it and to Onno Crasborn and his crew for the technology – not to mention the great SLLA Lab workers and their fearless leader Lee Prunier.
  • Thanks to Deanna Gagne and Ronice Quadros for leading data collection for our Coda project – analysis underway!
  • I will be working on updating the publications and presentations pages of this site with recent output.

A few exciting things coming up that I will post about as the time comes.

Sign Language Acquisition – ASL text NOW AVAILABLE!

I’m so excited to announce that the long-awaited ASL-English bilingual text ‘Sign Language Acquisition by Deaf and Hearing Children’ is NOW AVAILABLE!

Go to for more information, including a sample.

Thanks to Gallaudet University Press for publishing.

All royalties are being donated to the Nyle DiMarco Foundation to support access to sign language for deaf kids.

ASL announcement here:


Sabbatical in the Netherlands

For Spring 2018, I am on sabbatical in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am fortunate to have received a Radboud Excellence Initiative Professorship, so I am spending the semester at Radboud working with my two co-sponsors, Sharon Unsworth and Onno Crasborn.

GALA and other presentations

On behalf of our co-authorship team (Kadir Gökgöz, Ronice Quadros, Deb Chen Pichler and me) I presented our project “Constraints on Code-Blending: Distributions of Pointing Subjects and Objects in Bimodal Bilingual Children” at the conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition (GALA) 13, in Palma de Mallorca. I decided to share the slides/handout through this website, and started a new page called Presentations (you can find it on the top menu). I plan to add other handouts for future and past presentations as time permits. Let me know of any requests.

Here’s the lovely site of the conference. Check #GALA13 for some conference live-tweets.

Classes have started!

Here at UConn our Fall semester classes have started.

I’m happy to be teaching two graduate courses this semester.

On Wednesday afternoons, I’m teaching Ling 5110, Acquisition of Syntax – our first-semester grad course providing an overview of generative approaches to language acquisition. If you’re interested, you can find the syllabus here.

On Tuesday mornings, I’m team-teaching with Harry van der Hulst a seminar on Structure of Sign Languages. We’ve decided to focus the course on interfaces within and outside of grammar, while still giving an overview of (some of) what sign linguists find interesting in sign languages. The syllabus is here.

ASL Research Resources – Two workshops

In association with the LSA Summer Institute (see this post), I organized a workshop on ASL Research Resources (see Workshop page here). The workshop featured the recent and ongoing developments associated with the SLAAASh project, including the new ASL SignBank, and its new communication with ELAN, as well as ASL-LEX, with whom we are collaborating to ensure compatibility between ASL-LEX and SignBank.


On Friday, Aug. 18 (1:30-6 PM), we will have a mini-version of this workshop at Gallaudet University, with presentations by Julie Hochgesang, Zed Sehyr, and me. The presentations will be open to the Gallaudet Sign Language community and others interested.


We will have a SignBank demo session in CT during a SLRDG slot this semester. Stay tuned for details.

LSA Summer Institute

I taught an intensive course on ‘Sign Language Acquisition’ at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute in Lexington, KY, July 5-Aug. 1. The students were all very interested in this topic and we had excellent discussions. I appreciated the chance to share work in this area. I also attended two other courses and a number of presentations. I always like to recommend the Summer Institute especially for graduate students, as it’s a great time to be immersed in linguistics and to take advantage of the opportunity to learn subjects you wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to at your home institution.

Workshop: Assessing a Deaf Child’s ASL

I’m very happy to be participating in an upcoming workshop on Assessing a Deaf Child’s ASL, to be held at Gallaudet next week.

I’ll be giving a presentation on “Natural Sign Language Acquisition by Deaf Children”, and I’ll be learning more about assessments and related topics. I hope to make use of some of these in my future research!