Natasha Abner

Assistant Professor

Department of Linguistics

University of Michigan

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I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Michigan.

My research focuses on the structure of human language, with a particular emphasis on the structural properties of signed languages. I am interested in how modality of production and perception does and does not affect language structure. Thus, I ask what properties signed languages have because they're signed but also what properties signed languages have because they're language.

I am also interested in the role of language in multi-modal human communication, the emergence and development of language in individuals and communities, and in the relationships between communication and cognition. I sate these interests with studies of homesign, Nicaraguan Sign Language, and gesture.

"It is so much easier to believe than to think; it is astounding how much more believing is done than thinking." - James Kemper