About the Lab

The UConn Sign Linguistics and Language Acquisition Laboratory is directed by Diane Lillo-Martin. Our research explores human language acquisition with a focus on sign linguistics.

We have many ongoing projects both exclusively, and in collaboration with other labs. Please browse our current research and other lab information using the tabs at the top of this page and the links on the right side of this page.

Lab Photos

  • Inside Our Lab - 2018

Our Research Focus

What makes the human mind ready for language? Our lab addresses this question from a variety of angles.

We know there are thousands of languages around the world with many notable differences between them. Yet, there are significant similarities among the world’s languages known as universals. These universals are a fascinating component of linguistic research.

Most knowledge about the universals of language comes from studying spoken languages, but sign languages must be considered as well, in order to have a complete picture of the true universal properties of language. In some cases, sign languages show the effects of proposed linguistic universals; but there are also differences between spoken and sign languages which must be taken seriously.

Our research often addresses these major questions by investigating the timecourse of language development by young children.


  • University of Connecticut
  • Department of Linguistics
  • 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1145
  • Storrs, CT 06269-1145
  • Lab address: Oak Hall Room 372

  • Lab Manager: Lee Prunier
  • lee.prunier( at )uconn.edu
(outstretched hand clip art)


  • Fall Semester Lab Meetings
    Here’s the schedule for our lab meetings for the fall. Contact the lab manager if you aren’t a lab member but would like to join a meeting or learn more about a project! August 30th – Introduction to the lab, overview of projects September 20th – ASL SignBank, IX project October 18th – ASL Input […]
  • Workshop on ASL Research Resources
    A workshop on ASL Research Resources will be held during the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. The workshop will include information about the lab’s work on the SLAAASh project, including the forthcoming (soon!) ASL SignBank. See the Workshop page for more info!