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Our research fellow wins Leverhulme grant to study Indonesian sign language varieties

15 August, 2016

Congratulations to our research fellow Dr Nick Palfreyman, who has been awarded a three-year early career research fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust. His project, entitled ‘Patterns of variation and local identities in Indonesian sign language varieties’, aims to conduct pioneering research on grammatical variation in conjunction with PUPET, the Indonesia research hub established by iSLanDS in 2014.

Indonesia has an estimated 500,000 deaf signers across a vast archipelago, but little research has been carried out to date on the considerable diversity between and within its sign language varieties. Working with deaf colleagues in Indonesia, Nick will look at grammatical patterns across six varieties and their social contexts, studying how Indonesian signers use variation to shape social meanings and identities.


Nick meets with deaf adults and hearing parents of deaf children during a recent fieldwork trip to Indonesia

Nick’s grant was one of around 100 early career research fellowships awarded in 2016 by Leverhulme, which offers fifty per cent match-funding towards three-year academic research positions, enabling early career researchers to undertake a significant piece of publishable work.

We hope you will join us in congratulating Nick as he embarks on this exciting fellowship project.


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