Laurence Meurant



Sign language
Former NARC Fellow | January 2012 - January 2017

Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
University of Namur


Thematic area

The Sign Language research team at the University of Namur is dedicated to the linguistic study of French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), namely the language of the Deaf Community in the South part of Belgium. The main approach currently developed is corpus and discourse linguistics.

The collaboration between the research team and the bilingual school for the Deaf in Namur (École et Surdité) ensures a permanent link between basic and applied research on LSFB.

Corpus and discourse in French Belgian Sign Language

(FRS-FNRS Incentive Grant for Scientific Research – MIS – awarded to Laurence Meurant, 2012-2014)

The general objective of this project is the development of knowledge about Belgian-French Sign Language (LSFB) through the study of LSFB discourse. The project aims at creating the first referential LSFB corpus which is an essential condition to the development of research on LSFB, to its visibility within the field and to its quality. It will be designed to support different research themes (sociolinguistic variation, contact between LSFB and French, comparison between LSFB and Flemish Sign Language (VGT), tense marking at discourse level, etc.). The originality of this SL corpus will be its rich variety both with respect to discourse types (or genres), registers, or propositional context, and to interlocutors.

Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive perspective

(Collaborative Research Action – ARC – awared to L. Degand, UCL/IL&C, C. Fairon, UCL/IL&C, S. Granger, UCL/IL&C, G. Gilquin, UCL/IL&C, L. Meurant, FRS-FNRS/FUNDP, A C. Simon, UCL/IL&C, 2012-2017)

The aim of this project is to investigate markers of fluency and disfluency in spoken and sign language, focusing on three main modalities: first language discourse (French and English), (advanced) foreign language discourse (English), and sign language (Belgian French Sign Language). Our central working hypothesis will be that fluency and disfluency markers are two faces of the same phenomenon. We will furthermore assume that their forms and functions vary systematically according to the language, speakers, and discourse genres at stake.


Mutual Intelligibility among the sign languages of Belgium and the Netherlands

Sáfár, A., Meurant, L., Haesenne, T., Nauta, Y., De Weerdt, D. & Ormel, E. 2015 In : Linguistics . 53 , 2

Sign language research, uses and practices: A Belgian perspective

Meurant, L., Sinte, A., Van Herreweghe, M. & Vermeerbergen, M. Aug 2013 Sign language research, uses and practices: Crossing Views on Theoretical and Applied Sign Language Linguistics. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter - Mouton and Ishara Press

Register variation in LSFB: The influence of the metalinguistic function

Paligot, A. & Meurant, L. Jul 2013

All publications