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Lab members 

Gal Belzitsman

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Research Assistant. I studied linguistics at Tel aviv University, where I was also working as a research assistant at the lab of Prof. Ruth Berman for 3 years. My interest in Sign Language started while I was training to be a professional dancer - I am intrigued by the symbiosis of language and movement. I started working as a research assistant in the Sign Language Research Lab in 2011. I work on several research projects: the notion of accent in Sign Language, the semantic and phonological mapping of two handed signs, and my PhD research project will focus on the language of the body, incorporating the fields of Sign Language and Theatre.

 

Yifat Ben-Zeev

Yifat Ben-Zeev Research Assistant. As a bilingual (Israeli Sign Language and Hebrew) I am fascinated by sign languages, working with them from various angles. In education, I teach Deaf children and youth from different backgrounds and communities (Jews, Arabs, etc.). It is fascinating to discover the cultural wealth and the variety of sign languages the children display. As a translator I work in translation for educational purposes and am
interested specifically in translation from Israeli Sign Language to the spoken language, a task which is no small feat, and am a lecturer in programs for training Israeli Sign Language interpreters.

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Federica Cavicchio

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After completing my Ph.D from the Universita' degli studi di Trento (Italy) in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a thesis on computational aspects of emotion and cooperation (under the supervision of Prof. Massimo Poesio), I won a Marie Curie fellowship and worked at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Sotaro Kita on bilingualism and co-speech gesture transfer. I am currently working  in the Sign Language Research Lab as a post doctoral researcher on the ERC funded Grammar of the Body Project.  My goal is to investigate combinatoriality/recombinatoriality of facial expressions and body gestures in extreme emotion displays.  The  research team will investigate how each face and body  articulator is used and which combinations of those are plausible and communicative and which are not.

 

Svetlana Dachkovsky

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Research Assistant. Through my work as research assistant on the prosody project in the lab, I became interested in facial expressions that function as intonation in sign language and in ways of distinguishing linguistic and affective facial expressions. My masters’ thesis focuses on the role of facial expression in marking neutral and counterfactual conditionals in Israeli Sign Language (ISL), and identifies general pragmatic meanings of the individual facial components characterizing these two types of conditionals, as well as other linguistic constructions in ISL.

 

Shai Davidi

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Video technician. My work in the lab encompasses all video-related tasks. It includes video recording in the lab and in the field, digitizing videotape for use on computer, reorganizing the data for various types of analysis, and extracting and preparing pictures from videotape for all lab publications.

 

Sarah Lanesman

Sarah Lanesman

Research Assistant. I am deaf, as are my sisters. Sign language is my main and preferred mode of communication in all aspects of life. I have an MA degree from the University of Central Lancshire, Preston, UK. My thesis is titled: "Algerian Jewish Sign Language: its emergence and survival", supervized by Prof. Ulrike Zeshan and Dr. Irit Meir. This is the first publication and documentation of this endangered language. In the sign language research lab I was involved in several projects: The history of ISL, Village sign languages of Israel and Algerian Jewish Sign Language.

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Debby Menashe

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I started working as a research assistant in the lab in 1998. My work is on Israeli Sign Language (ISL) since it is my native language (I was born to a deaf family). My work includes translation, documentation and coding of different linguistic materials of ISL. While working here, I discovered that sign language arouses deep interest in me, and that there is a fascinating deaf community behind it, with a unique mental and cultural character.

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Noa Marom

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I joined the Sign Language Lab as a research assistant in January 2014. In the previous year, as part of my MA studies at the English department at Haifa University, I took the Co-Speech Gesture course given by Prof. Sandler, which introduced me to the fascinating world of Gesture research. I joined the lab to participate in the Grammar of the Body project.

Muneera Abu Roken

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I have been studying different languages all my life, but I only discovered my interest in linguistics after taking a seminar course in Pidgins and Creoles as part of my BA studies in the English department at the University of Haifa. I started working in the Sign Language Research Lab in 2014 as a research assistant. My work includes coding of data from different sign languages in Israel as well as Hebrew-Arabic-English translation.  After falling in love with Deaf culture through learning American Sign Language, I want to learn as much as I can about Israeli Sign Language and the people who use and expand it.

Rose Stamp

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My research interests include sign linguistics, sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics and, in particular, variation and change within smaller unique deaf communities. For the past few years I have been working with the British Sign Language (BSL) Corpus Project team (http://www.bslcorpusproject.org/). I completed my PhD in sociolinguistic variation and change of BSL at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) in London, looking at several different aspects of how the language is changing and the reasons why. ​

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