Quer Villanueva, Josep

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


As ICREA Research Professor, I am member of the "Grup de Lingüística Formal" (GLiF) at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences (UPF) since January 2009 and head of the LSC Lab (Laboratori de llengua de signes catalana). 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 that 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 & 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, Cecchetto C, Pfau R,  Donati C, Steinbach M, Geraci C & Kelepir M (scientific directors) 2017, 'SignGram Blueprint. A Guide to Sign Language Grammar Writing', Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

- Quer J 2016, 'One or two derivations in (bimodal) bilinguals, That’s the question', Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 6.6: 817-821. *Published in 2017.

- Donati C, Barberà G, Branchini C, Cecchetto C, Geraci C  & Quer J 2017, 'Searching for imperatives in European sign languages'. In Imperatives and Directive Strategies, eds. S. Heinold and D. Van Olmen, 111-155. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

- Quer J 2017, 'SignGram Blueprint: una herramienta innovadora para la descripción gramatical de las lenguas de signos', In Actas del Congreso CNLSE de la Lengua de Signos Española: Madrid, 24 y 25 de septiembre de 2015. Madrid: Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad, 16-28. 

- Gelpí C, Aliaga D, Frigola S & Quer J 2017, 'Aprendizaje de las lenguas de signos en entornos MOOC', In Actas del Congreso CNLSE de la Lengua de Signos Española: Madrid, 24 y 25 de septiembre de 2015. Madrid: Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad, 156-162. 

Selected research activities

Invited talks

● Quer, J. The right place for locative agreement in sign languages. 53rd Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. University of Chicago. May 25-27, 2017. Invited speaker.

● Quer, J. Pluralidad verbal en lengua de signos catalana (LSC). II Coloquio Internacional sobre la lengua de señas peruana, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima. 9-11 November 2017. Keynote speaker.