What we do

We grow languages. We do this in the laboratory, by asking people to improvise, using only their hands to communicate. And we do this because we want to study how languages can start from scratch, and to see how the languages we know today could have gotten their rules and their rich structure.

We grow miniature languages in the lab, but everyone grows languages in daily life. By learning and using a language, we create the soil in which this language can flourish. We are interested in this process too, and we compare our lab results to two sign languages that have a rich history, and have evolved over many generations.

This research project is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). Click here for more information.

Who we are