Opendata, web and dolomites


The Emergence of Language in Social Interaction

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ELISA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ELISA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ELISA" about.

transmission    kata    gestures    language    asking    sign    homesign    contribution    pi    stages    human    century    homesigners    kolok    silent    nicaragua    events    communication    famous    material    emergence    course    brings    experimental    varieties    deafness    theories    emergent    time    signing    israel    negev    earliest    ago    track    quality    kk    genesis    documenting    social    desert    interacting    cultural    chart    geographically    comparisons    elisa    evolution    signers    birth    systematically    expertise    positioned    shaped    communicative    balinese    rural    interact    structure    structures    gestural    context    hypotheses    emerged    intergenerational    determines    reconstructing    six    spontaneous    conversations    describe    naturally    community    integrate    region    bali    empirical    modern    origins    direct    hearing    cultures    mechanism    arose    gesture    lab    village    grammars    setting    fruition    uniquely    speakers    generations    potentially    languages    interaction    incidences    during    interactions   

Project "ELISA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: WARANDELAAN 2
postcode: 5037 AB

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙482˙813 €
 EC max contribution 1˙482˙813 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-02-01   to  2025-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

During spontaneous sign language genesis, signers naturally come to integrate gestural material into their grammars. Researchers have been able to track this process in two famous cases: Nicaragua and Israel’s Negev desert. This project addresses a third case: Kata Kolok (KK) arose six generations ago due to high incidences of deafness in a Balinese village. ELISA determines what the earliest stages of this language looked like and what mechanism have shaped its emergence.

Theories of sign language emergence have been based on comparisons of emergent signing varieties from geographically distinct areas and thus potentially very different gesture cultures. ELISA focuses on signing varieties within the context of Bali to enable direct comparison between the various stages of language emergence. Three potentially-interacting hypotheses are considered: gestural origins (the contribution of the spontaneous gestures used by speakers), time-depth (intergenerational transmission), and social interaction (community structure & quality of conversations).

This is achieved by i) reconstructing the setting in which KK emerged by investigating the social interactions of homesigners and intergenerational homesign systems within the wider region;

(ii) documenting the communicative structures of these homesigners as they interact with their hearing communication partners, and by comparing these systematically to generations III-V of KK;

(iii) growing sign languages in the lab by asking hearing Balinese participants to describe events using silent gesture under various experimental conditions to test each of the hypotheses.

Through this comparative approach, ELISA brings together the fields of sign language emergence and cultural evolution and is effectively able to chart the birth and development of a modern human language over the course of a century. Given her empirical expertise in KK and rural sign languages, the PI is uniquely positioned to bring this project to fruition.

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The information about "ELISA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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