Conference, Rome – June 2017

Conference – Language as a form of Action
21- 23 June 2017, Rome, Italy

*The deadline for Abstract submissions has now closed*

Second Call


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
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.

Abstract Submission opens on December 9, 2016
Further information on abstract submission will follow shortly before registration opens.

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
Early Bird (March 31 – May 15) 100 Euros 40 Euros
Regular (May 16 – June 16) 140 Euros 60 Euros

Practical information regarding travel and accommodation will follow soon

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:

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