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Research fellow Nick Palfreyman gives Indonesian conference’s first-ever talk on sign languages

18 April, 2016

Congratulations to iSLanDS research fellow Dr Nick Palfreyman for his milestone keynote presentation on sign language at a conference in Indonesia this month. He became the first person ever to give a presentation on sign languages at the 14th annual linguistics conference called Konferensi Linguistik Tahunan (KOLITA 14), which was held on 6-8 April at Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia.


His presentation was entitled ‘Linguistic research using participatory methods: Grammatical negation in Indonesian Sign Language’ and looked at differences between the signed and spoken languages, as well as emphasising the importance of conducting research in partnership with members of the sign community. Conference organiser Yanti, Head of the Centre for the Study of Language and Culture, commented:

“We were delighted and very fortunate to have Dr Nick Palfreyman as our keynote speaker. As the first linguist to present a work on sign language at this annual linguistics conference, Dr Palfreyman delivered a presentation on Indonesian sign language that has broadened our view about how sign languages, like spoken languages, are interesting as well as worth studying. Studies on sign languages will not only provide insights to the theories of linguistics, but also give significant contributions to the communities in which the sign languages are used.”

the conference

Dr Palfreyman also met with the university’s Vice-Rector Elisabeth Rukmini to discuss ideas for collaboration with PUPET, the Deaf Research Centre.

with Vice Rector


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