Lab Director

Photograph of Diane Brentari

Diane Brentari

Ph.D, University of Chicago, 1990

Professor Brentari’s current research interests are in the areas of phonology, morphology, and sign languages, particularly as they relate to issues of typology, language emergence and prosody. She has also developed a model of phonological structure of sign, called the Prosodic Model, and she has also worked on the architecture of the sign language lexicon. Her teaching responsibilities include general linguistics and phonology, as well as courses on sign language linguistics. She previously taught at Purdue University, the University of California at Davis, and Gallaudet University.

She is currently collaborating with researchers working on the sign languages of Europe and Asia to address questions concerning sign language structure cross-linguistically, as well as the relationship between gesture, homesign systems and sign languages.

cv (updated 05/2017) pdf pdf icon

Current Postdoctoral Researchers



Current Graduate Students


Photograph of Josh Falk

josh falk

Josh is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics. He is currently working on a project examining storytelling in American Sign Language.




Photograph of Emre Hakgüder

emre hakgüder

Emre is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics. He received his M.A. in Linguistics from Bogazici University where his research was focused on sentential embedding, imperatives, intonation and constructed action in Turkish Sign Language.



Photograph of Laura Horton

laura horton

Laura is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Human Development and the Department of Linguistics. Her dissertation is a study of language development and language emergence based on fieldwork conducted in Guatemala with deaf children and adults. She is interested in Language and Thought, shared homesign systems and language socialization. In the Sign Language Linguistics Lab, Laura works on the Typology Project. She is also affiliated with the Goldin-Meadow Lab. 


Photograph of Kathryn Montemurro

kathryn montemurro

Kat is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics. She is currently working on a project with Diane Brentari and Emre Hakgüder examining instrumentals cross-linguistically. In the Sign Language Linguistics Lab she works on the Typology Project.



Current Research Assistants


                                   Susan elizabeth rangel


Current Undergraduate Research Assistants


Photograph of Averi Ayala

Averi Ayala

Averi is a second year Linguistics major in the College. In the Sign Language Lab, Averi works on the Typology Project and the Pointing Project.




Photograph of April Bell

april bell

April is a Chicago native in her fourth year in the College. In the Sign Language Lab April works on the Typology Project. She is majoring in Biology, and is interested in Arabic, ASL, and all things science. She also is a member of the University of Chicago Women's Rugby Club.




Lab Alumni

Photograph of Jonathan Keane

Jonathan Keane offsite icon

Jonathan received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2014.

Jonathan is interested in computational approaches to linguistics and the phonetics and phonology of sign languages. Specifically he works on the phonetics of fingerspelling, and how that informs handshape as well as articulatory models of language production. He also has interests in morphology, syntax, and their interface.


Photograph of Jordan Fenlon

JORDAN FENLON offsite icon

Jordan Fenlon received his PhD from University College London in 2010.

His research interests include the phonology, morphology, and syntax of sign languages; understanding the use of sign languages in different social contexts; and the relationship between sign language and gesture. 

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