Josep Quer

Josep Quer

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. 2020. ‘The expression of negation in sign languages’. In Oxford Handbook of Negation, eds. V. Déprez & M.T. Espinal, 177-196. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

– Sánchez-Amat, Jordina, Pepita Cedillo and Josep Quer 2020. ‘Ser sord no implica tenir trastorns del llenguatge. Factors de variació en la capacitat lingüística de les persones amb sordesa’. Llengua, Societat i Comunicació 18.

– Sánchez-Amat, Jordina, Raquel Veiga Busto, Xavi Álvarez, Santiago Frigola, Delfina Aliaga, Miguel Ángel Sampedro, Gemma Barberà, and Josep Quer 2020. ‘The Francoist dictatorship through the Deaf lens’. In Roland Pfau, Aslı Göksel and Jana Hosemann (eds.), Our Lives – Our Stories: Life Experiences of Elderly Deaf People, 247-273. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Selected research activities

Horizon2020 project: SIGN-HUB (693349). Title: “The Sign Hub: preserving, researching and fostering the linguistic, historical and cultural heritage of European Deaf signing communities with an integral resource”. Coordinator.