Call For Papers

21-23 May 2020
School of Foreign Language and Literature
Auditorium of Santa Teresa
Via Orfanotrofio
Ragusa, Italy
The University of Catania, the Department of Humanities, the School of Foreign Language and Literature in Ragusa and the Language and Communication Across Modalities Lab (LaCAM) of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC) of the CNR are proud to host the second edition of the Workshop on Cognitive and Functional Approaches to Sign Language Linguistics, Sign CAFÉ 2 from 21 to 23 May 2020 at the University of Catania, in Ragusa.
This workshop has been set up by Adam Schembri of the University of Birmingham as a regular forum to discuss approaches towards sign language linguistics in the cognitive and functional linguistics tradition. These approaches frame language as a type of social action in relationship to other cognitive systems. A wide range of theoretical approaches are included in this definition: they all have in common the importance they ascribe to the role of communication and cognition in linguistic theory and in descriptions of language structure. 
Invited speakers will be:

  • Gabrielle Hodge (University College London DCAL, UK)
  • Marie-Anne Sallandre and Brigitte Garcia (Université Paris 8, CNRS, France)
  • Erin Wilkinson (University of New Mexico, USA)
  • Virginia Volterra (ISTC, CNR, Italy)

The conference welcomes contributions that address any aspect of the study of gesture and Sign Languages, as well as from related fields more broadly concerned with language, cognition and multimodality. We also invite language related submissions that are based on disciplines such as cognitive and social psychology, neurolinguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, artificial intelligence, and discourse and communication studies.
We aim to cover a wide range of research including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Theoretical perspective on cognitive/functional and usage-based linguistics
  • Works on phonetics, phonology, lexicon, grammar, semantics, pragmatics
  • Sociolinguistic variation and change;
  • Multimodality in first or second language acquisition
  • Cognitive or usage-based approaches to sign language diversity and typology
  • Cognitive discourse analysis
  • Cognitive approaches to the emergence of sign languages in a historical context
  • Language evolution
  • Language and space
  • Language and perception
  • Gesture and multimodality
  • Iconicity
  • Embodied cognition and situated cognition
  • Metaphor and metonymy and other forms of figurative language

Conference Language
The official languages of the conference will be English and International Sign (IS), with Italian Sign Language (LIS) as additional language.
Abstract submission
We plan to have signed/spoken presentations (20 minutes and 10 minutes discussion) as well as two poster sessions. As there will only be a single stream of signed/spoken presentations, it is likely that the majority of presentations will be posters.
Abstracts should be anonymised (with no author names in the text). The anonymous abstract should include the title and indicate whether it is intended for poster or signed/spoken presentation. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words (including tables, examples and references), in 12-point font, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins. 
Abstracts should be submitted in pdf format through the Sign CAFÉ 2 Easychair website.
Video submission in IS is also allowed (maximum length 5 minutes). Those who would like to submit a video in sign language should contact the Sign CAFÉ 2 organiser.
Participants will be allowed to present at most one talk (as a single or first author) and one poster. However, there is no restriction on the number of co-authored papers.
Reviewing procedure
All abstracts will be subject to double-blind peer review by an international scientific committee.
The scientific committee reserves the right to reject abstracts. Not accepted abstracts for oral presentations will be considered for poster presentations. Deadline for notification of acceptance is set to 30 November 2019.
Authors who submit abstracts that are accepted will be required to pay registration fee for the conference that all attendees are required to pay. Since only the abstracts of registered presenting authors will be included in the final program, we expect that the first author of the accepted abstract will register for the conference within 15 March 2020 (i.e., the deadline of the Early Bird fee).
Deadline for submission: 15 October 2019
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 30 November 2019
Registration will open on 15 December 2019
Registration fees 
(include 4 coffee breaks, 2 lunches and a conference welcome bag)

Registration Type Standard rate Student rate
Early Bird (15 December – 15 March) 120 Euros 70 Euros
Regular (16 March – 30 April) 150 Euros 90 Euros

Important Dates
15 September: Submission Opens
15 October: Submission Deadline
30 November: Notification of Acceptance
15 December: Registration Opens
30 April: Registration Ends
21- 23 May: Conference
Conference e-mail and web site
Organizing committee:

University of Catania LACAM, ISTC, CNR
Sabina Fontana Olga Capirci
Emanuela Campisi Morgana Proietti
Claudio Ferrara Chiara Bonsignori
Erika Raniolo Alessio Di Renzo
  Cristiana Salanitro