Laboratory for Research of Sign Language and Deaf Culture

The Laboratory for Sign Language and Deaf Culture Research (HZJ Lab) was established in 2004 as a result of work on the bilateral American-Croatian project A Basic Grammar of Croatian Sign Language (HZJ).

The work in the HZJ Lab is primarily focused on linguistics of Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). The description of the linguistic structure of the HZJ contributes to its recognition and recognition as a full and natural language of the Deaf community in Croatia, as stated in the Recommendation on the Protection of National Sign Languages of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Scientific research is focused on different areas: developing HZJ learning programs as a second language (L2), teaching interpreters and teachers of the Deaf, educating parents of deaf children how to foster early communication and HZJ acquisition as a first language, and raising awareness how using HZJ can improve educational and literacy outcomes in deaf children.

The research is conducted in cooperation with the native signers of HZJ –Deaf or hearing persons fluent in HZJ. Collaborating institutions are Croatian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of the City of Zagreb, as well as foreign institutions such as Purdue University, IN, SAD, Linguistics Program, American Sign Language Research Laboratory; University of Warsaw, Faculty of Polish Studies, Section for Sign Linguistic; Hamburg University, Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf; University of Graz, Department of Translation Studies; University of Salzburg, Department of Linguistics & Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience.

In addition to research activities, the HZJ lab is also used for creating teaching material.

Head of the Laboratory: Assis. Prof. Marina Milković, PhD

The Laboratory’s associates: