Emily Carrigan

Statistical Consultant


My primary research interest lies in specifying the human capacities for language, in part by determining how these capacities are exemplified in situations of language genesis and language change. I have done work looking at who drives the development of independent homesign gesture systems used by deaf adults in Nicaragua (homesigners), by examining the comprehension of those systems by homesigners’ family members and friends. Evidence thus far suggests that homesigners themselves make unique contributions to the development of their systems, and that many family members and friends do not fully share the system with the homesigner they know. I am currently examining the emergence of the use of space for argument structure in sign languages by studying this linguistic feature in the gesture productions of hearing non-signers, homesigners in Nicaragua, and users of Nicaraguan Sign Language. I am also a fiber enthusiast, and both knit and spin whenever I have the chance!

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