Learning to use space: A study into the SL2 acquisition process of adult learners of Sign Language of the Netherlands

Authors Eveline Boers-Visker
Publication date 2020
Type Doctoral Thesis


The aim of this dissertation is to examine how adult learners with a spoken language background who are acquiring a signed language, learn how to use the space in front of the body to express grammatical and topographical relations. Moreover, it aims at investigating the effectiveness of different types of instruction, in particular instruction that focuses the learner's attention on the agreement verb paradigm. To that end, existing data from a learner corpus (Boers-Visker, Hammer, Deijn, Kielstra & Van den Bogaerde, 2016) were analyzed, and two novel experimental studies were designed and carried out. These studies are described in detail in Chapters 3–6. Each chapter has been submitted to a scientific journal, and accordingly, can be read independently.1 Yet, the order of the chapters follows the chronological order in which the studies were carried out, and the reader will notice that each study served as a basis to inform the next study. As such, some overlap in the sections describing the theoretical background of each study was unavoidable.


On this publication contributed

Language English
Key words signed language

Eveline Boers-Visker