SignLab Amsterdam is a cross-faculty research lab at the University of Amsterdam, founded in 2020. It brings together a long tradition of sign linguistics in Amsterdam with recent advances in artificial intelligence.

Sign language linguistics

Investigating sign languages has the potential to yield important linguistic insights which are more difficult to obtain by investigating spoken languages alone, because linguistic structures are sometimes easier to detect in sign languages than in spoken languages. Quite literally, sign languages often make linguistic structures more directly visible. To investigate the structure of signs and signed sentences, we do not only make use of traditional methods to collect and analyze sign language data, but also develop new methods making use of computer vision and machine learning techniques. See the Theoretical Contributions page for more information.


Scientific investigation of sign languages is not only necessary to obtain a general understanding of human languages, but also has important applications. Deeper insight into the grammar of sign languages is essential to develop efficient curricula for sign language learners, including sign language interpreters and hearing parents of deaf children, and to lay a foundation for sign language technology. Visit our Applications page for more information.

SignLab Open House

In April 2023, we held the first SignLab Open House, in collaboration with the Dutch Sign Language Centre (Nederlands Gebarencentrum) and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Hogeschool Utrecht). We made a short aftermovie in NGT, with Dutch voiceover and subtitles. Enjoy watching!

University of Amsterdam

: signlab.amsterdam@gmail.com