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.

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

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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