Quer Villanueva, Josep

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)


As ICREA Research Professor, I am member of the "Grup de Lingüística Formal" at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences (UPF) since January 2009. In 2007-2008 I was professor and chair of Romance Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam and previously I was ICREA Research Professor at the Department of General Linguistics of the University of Barcelona (2002-2006). In that period I set up a new research project on the formal study of sign languages, both with a focus on the morphosyntax and semantics of Catalan Sign Language (LSC) and on crosslinguistic and crossmodal research. I led the research group GRIN, which published the first comprehensive grammatical description of LSC. I obtained my PhD in Linguistics at Utrecht University in 1998 with a dissertation on the semantics of mood. I am co-editor of the journal Sign Language and Linguistics.

Research interests

Research into natural language can no longer ignore sign languages as manifestations of the same innate human faculty realized in a different perceptual-articulatory modality. As a formal linguist, my research has focused on the analysis of a range of phenomena (negation, agreement, quantification, etc.) that hinge on the interaction between different grammar components (morphosyntax, semantics, prosody) both in spoken and sign languages. The goal is to better understand the division of labour across different grammar modules.

Selected publications

Quer J 2016, ‘Mood’ In The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages, eds. Ledgeway A & Maiden M, 954-966. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Quer J 2016, ‘Intonation and grammar in the visual-gestural modality: a case study on conditionals in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)’ In Intonational grammar in Ibero-Romance: Approaches across linguistic subfields, eds. Armstrong ME, Henriksen N & Vanrell M, 369-386, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Quer J 2016, ‘Reporting with and without role shift: sign language strategies of complementation’ In A matter of complexity: Subordination in sign languages, eds. Herrmann A, Pfau R & Steinbach M, 204-230, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

– Lekakou M & Quer J 2016, ‘Aspect in the service of mood: the morphosyntax of subjunctive in Griko’, In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory, eds. Ralli A, Koutsoukos N & Bompolas S, 79-92, Patras: University of Patras.

– Barberà G, Quer J & Frigola S 2015, ‘Primers passos cap a la documentació de discurs signat. El projecte pilot de constitució del corpus de la llengua de signes catalana’, Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana, 25: 287-302. (This publication gets published in 2016 but with date of 2015).

Quer J 2016, ‘Les oracions condicionals en llengua de signes catalana’ In Miscel·lània d’homenatge a Joan Martí i Castell, ed. Pradilla MÀ (ed.), 205-211, Tarragona: Publicacions URV.

Quer J 2016, ‘Linguistics: Non-manual markers’, In The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, Gertz G & Boudreault P, 618-620, Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Quer J 2016, ‘Sign Language: Southern Europe’ In The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, Gertz G & Boudreault P, 818-819, Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

– Lekakou M & Quer J 2016, ‘Subjunctive mood in Griko: A micro-comparative approach’, Lingua, 174, 65 – 85.

Selected research activities


  • SIGN-HUB (Horizon2020, 693349). 2016-2020. Coordinator.
  • The Grammar of Reference in Catalan Sign Language (LSC) (MINECO-FEDER, FFI2015-68594-P) 2016-2019. PI.