The grammars of signed languages are as highly complex as the grammars of spoken languages and share with them many universal features, despite the difference in modality between spoken languages (which use the auditory channel) and signed languages (which use the visual channel). Yet, sign languages also differ from spoken languages in radical ways: morphological information in sign languages is often conveyed simultaneously by different articulators rather than linearly; moreover, certain aspects of their phonological, syntactic and semantic structures are not commonly found in spoken languages. These differences raise an interesting challenge both for formal linguistic and experimental research frameworks.

Conference series

FEAST (Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory) is the regular forum to discuss formal approaches to sign language grammar (in particular in the generative tradition), experimental approaches to sign languages, and their interaction. FEAST is held as a conference series every one or two years. The next installment will take place at the University of Bergen, Norway, on June 27th–29th, 2023. It is organized by the Department for Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies at the University of Bergen (UiB), and co-organized by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and The Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies of Chinese University of Hong Kong.

FEAST conferences

  • 2011, Venice: June 20–22, 2011
  • 2012, Warsaw: June 1–2, 2012
  • 2014, Venice: June 9–11, 2014
  • 2015, Barcelona: May 4–6, 2015
  • 2016, Venice: September 1–2, 2016
  • 2017, Reykjavik: June 21–22, 2017
  • 2018, Venice: June 18–20, 2018
  • 2020, Paris: June 23–25, 2020
  • 2021, Hong Kong: June 1–4, 2021
  • 2023, Bergen: June 27–29, 2023

Information about previous FEAST conferences can be find here: https://sites.google.com/site/feastconference/home.


Since 2018, FEAST proceedings are published as an open-access journal: https://raco.cat/index.php/FEAST.