Language as a form of Action

Conference 21- 23 June 2017, Rome, Italy

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN – register here Eventbrite Registration

Video in International Sign (IS) here

Interpreters are provided by Gruppo SILIS
There will be two hearing interpreters translating English-LIS : Arianna Testa and Francesco Gasparri
There will be three deaf interpreters, translating LIS-ISL : Valeria Giura, Chiara Conte, Tiziana Gulli

Main Programme
Poster presentation overview 
Poster Programme

Conference Book of Abstracts

Accommodation information
Social Dinner –
will take place at the Postiglione Restaurant on 22nd June 2017 – menu and transport information here

Keynote Speakers

Adam KendonSemiotic and modality diversity in the utterance: a languaging perspective
(Cambridge University and University College London, UK)

Sotaro KitaDeictic gestures for discourse cohesion: Mechanisms for production and comprehension
(University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

Marie-Anne Sallandre & Marie-Thérèse L’HuillierThe Semiological Model for Sign Language: focus on deixis, eye gaze and acquisition
(Universite Paris-8, France)

Virginia VolterraSearching the roots of words and signs in children’s early action and gestures
(Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome, Italy)

The DComm Project in collaboration with ISTC-CNR and Gest_lan_d Project are pleased to announce the Conference “Language as a Form of Action” to be held in the Sala Convegni of CNR (Piazzale A. Moro), Rome Italy, June 21-23, 2017.

The aim of the conference is to approach gesture and sign language research in an interdisciplinary way by bringing together researchers working on these topics from the fields of linguistics, neuroscience, developmental psychology, developmental robotics, philosophy, and other related disciplines. We aim to explore the concept of “language” in its full complexity, i.e., by considering the interaction of vocal and manual (including non-manual features) modalities in spoken languages as well as in signed languages. The core idea of the conference is based on the considerations posed by Adam Kendon, in particular, in his recent article “Semiotic diversity in utterance production and the concept of ‘language” (2014):

“If we accept, as surely we must, that utterances produced by living languagers (speakers or signers […]) in the ordinary co-present circumstances of life—diverse as these may be—always involve the mobilization of several different semiotic systems in different modalities and deployed in an orchestrated relationship with one another, then we must go beyond the issue of trying to set a boundary between ‘language’ and ‘non-language’, and occupy ourselves, rather, with an approach that seeks to distinguish these different systems, at the same time analysing their interrelations.” (p.3)

We invite abstracts (information on submission below) that address any aspect of the study of gesture and Sign Languages, including but not limited to:

  • multimodal language acquisition and development
  • the cognitive and neural underpinnings of gesture and/or sign
  • the contribution of gesture to language production and comprehension
  • the role of gesture in situated language use
  • sign and gesture: continuity and discontinuity
  • linguistics of sign languages
  • the emergence of sign languages in a historical context
  • neurolinguistics/psycholinguistics of sign languages

We welcome papers on any aspect of bodily communication and are open to all theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.

Conference Language
The conference languages will be English, International Signs and Italian Sign Language. Sign language interpreters (International Signs and Italian Sign Language) will be available.

Abstract Submission – NOW CLOSED
We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words, not including references, and abstracts should be limited to text (i.e. no figures). Abstracts must report previously unpublished work.  Abstracts should include a clear statement of the theoretical issue to be addressed, the research methodology to be presented, and a concise summary of the findings/conclusion. Only one submission will be accepted by the same first-author and a maximum of 2 co-authored submissions.

Oral/Signed presentations: oral/signed presentations will be 25 minutes, with 20 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion.
Poster presentations: Posters will be displayed during poster sessions, with ample opportunity for discussion. Submissions that are not accepted for oral presentations will be considered for poster presentations.
DCOMM Poster presentation (only for MSCA DCOMM project researchers): Posters will be displayed during the poster sessions, with ample opportunity for discussion.
All Poster presentations will be in a digital format:
– The file must be in a JPEG (portrait) format
– Dimensions:  width 1080 pixel, height 1920 pixel (for Corel Draw, Paint Shop Pro, etc.) width 28.6 cm, height 50.8 cm (for PowerPoint) 
– There are no dpi restrictions. It is possible to display 96 dpi, 150 dpi, and 300dpi
– The file has to be named with the presenting  author’s surname only (i.e., Rossi.jpeg)
– For Authors who have been notified of acceptance, the deadline for sending in the files is set to 5 June.

Abstract Submission opens on December 9, 2016
Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by two referees.  The scientific committee reserves the right to reject abstracts.  Abstracts not accepted for oral presentations will be considered for poster presentations.  Deadline for notification of acceptance is set to March 31.

Authors who submit abstracts that are accepted will be required to pay the same 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 programme, we expect that the first author of the accepted abstract will register for conference by May 15 (ie, the deadline of the Early Bird registration fee).

Registration will open on March 31, 2017
Registration fees (include 4 coffee breaks, one lunch and a conference welcome bag)

Registration Type Standard rate Student rate (including PhD/PGR students)
Early Bird (March 31 – May 15) 100 Euros 40 Euros
Regular (May 16 – June 16) 140 Euros 60 Euros

Important Dates

December 9: Submission Opens
February 3: Submission Deadline – extended to February 15
March 31: Notification of Acceptance
March 31: Registration Opens
June 16: Registration Ends
June 21 -23: Conference

Scientific committee:  

  • Olga Capirci (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome, Italy)
  • Maria Cristina Caselli (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome, Italy)
  • Jean-Marc Colletta (Université Grenoble Alpes, France)
  • Kenny Coventry (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
  • Heather Brookes (UCT)
  • Holger Diessel (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)
  • Aliyah Morgenstern (University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, France)
  • Michèle Guidetti (University Toulouse – Jean Jaures, France)
  • Sophie Kern (Lyon University, France)
  • Pasquale Rinaldi (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome, Italy)
  • Angelo Cangelosi (University of Plymouth, UK)
  • Pedro-Guijarro-Fuentes (UIB, Majorca)

Local organizing committee:

Administrative Support, Jackie Orford, Contact:
General information: Language as a form of Action

The conference is made possible thanks to:

DComm (This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 676063)




Gest_lan_d (Seventh Framework Programme for research and Technological Development Marie Curie IRSES International Research Staff Exchange Scheme GEST_LAN_D PIRSES-GA-2013-612563)





Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome, Italy





and also from the following organisations: