Fotograaf: onbekend

dhr. dr. V. (Vadim) Kimmelman

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Taalwetenschap
  • Bezoekadres
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 648
  • Postadres:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam

Current project

Currently I am a postdoctoral researcher in the project "Argument structure in three sign languages: typological and theoretical aspects" . This 4-year project, funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO 360-70-520), and headed by dr. Roland Pfau and prof. dr. Enoch O. Aboh, will yield the first comprehensive overview of argument structure (AS), AS-alternations, and AS-changes in sign languages, as compared to spoken languages. The theoretical motivation is to test existing theories of AS-structure couched within the Generative Grammar framework on the data from SLs. The project will address the question whether AS is represented in the lexicon or in syntax. Three sign languages will be analyzed: Sign Language of the Netherlands, German Sign Language, and Russian Sign Language – the project thus has as strong comparative component. While studies on certain linguistic aspects of all three SLs are available, their AS has not been investigated at all. Crucially, all three SLs have a recently created corpus that can be used for the research. In addition, use will be made of elicited data. I am responsible for the Russian Sign Language part of the project, as well as for development of the methodology, and for a typological and theoretical discussion of the results. 

About me 

I studied linguistics in Russia (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow) and in the Netherlands (MA program "'General linguistics"). Several years ago I got interested in sign languages and especially in finding those properties of Language that are shared by signed and spoken languages. To study this I conducted a PhD project on Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands (see the tab Publicaties for full text). 


Previous research

I have conducted research on Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands, the result of which is my dissertation (see the tab Publicaties for full text). Below you can also download a short English summary of the dissertation. 


Previously I have studied negation in RSL (syntax and non-regular negation), parts of speech in RSL, reflexive pronouns in RSL and NGT, and basic word order in RSL. In addition, I have investigated grammaticalization of stative predicates, adverbs and auxiliaries in Adyghe. See also the tab with publications and CV.  

Research interests (keywords)

Russian Sign Language; Sign Linguistics; Sign Language of the Netherlands; Argument Structure; Information Structure; Corpus Linguistics; Russian; Linguistic Typology; Syntax; Formal Semantics.


In preparation

(together with A. Herrmann) Information Structure - Theoretical Perspectives. In Routledge Handbook of Theoretical and Experimental Sign Language Research

(together with J. Quer) Quantification - Theoretical Perspectives. In Routledge Handbook of Theoretical and Experimental Sign Language Research

To appear

Quantifiers in Russian Sign Language. To appear in  E.L. Keenan & D. Paperno (Eds.), Handbook of Quantifiers in Natural Languages 2. See a pre-final version below.



Transitivity in RSL: a corpus-based account. In E. Efthimiou, S. Fotinea, T. Hanke, J. Hochgesang, J. Kristoffersen & J. Mesch (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on the representation and processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining (pp. 117-120). Paris: ELRA. Available online at:

(together with R. Pfau): Information Structure in Sign Languages. In Fery, C. & S. Ishihara (eds.), The Oxford handbook on information structure (pp. 814-833). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(together with A. Sáfár & O. Crasborn). Towards a classification of weak hand holds. Open Linguistics 2, 211-234. Full text available here:

Review of ‘Signs and Structures: Formal Approaches to Sign Language Syntax, ed. by Pawel Rutkowski’. Sign Language Studies 16(4), 592-595. (pre-final version below).




Topics and topic prominence in two sign languages. Journal of Pragmatics, 87, 156-170. (see my dissertation for a close-enough version)

(together with A. Sáfár). Weak hand holds in two sign languages and two genres. Sign Language & Linguistics 18(2), 205-237. See a pre-final version below.

Multiple tiers, multiple trees. Proceedings of CLS 49 (2013), pp. 225-238.   See below.

Quantifiers in RSL: distributivity and compositionality. In P. Arkadiev, I. Kapitonov, Y. Lander, E. Rakhilina, & S. Tatevosov (Eds.) Donum Semanticum (pp. 121-134). Moscow: Jazyki Slavjanskoj Kuljtury

Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netheralnds (Dissertation abstract). Sign Language & Linguistics 18(1), 142-150. Download below

Review of ‘Herrmann, Annika (2013): Modal and Focus Particles in Sign Languages: A Cross-Linguistic Study’. Linguistische Berichte 241.


V. Kimmelman, N. Korotkova & I. Yanovich. (eds) Proceedings of MOSS 2: Moscow Syntax and Semantics. Boston: MITWPL. See here:

Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam. Available here: 


“Doubling in RSL and NGT: a pragmatic account”. In M. Balbach, L. Benz, S. Genzel, M. Grubic, A. Renans, S. Schalowski, M. Stegenwallner & A. Zeldes (Eds.), Information Structure: Empirical Perspectives on Theory Vol. 17. Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure: ISIS: working papers of the SFB 632 (pp. 99-118). Potsdam: Universitätsverlag Potsdam. (see below)

“Review of ‘Clefts and their relatives’ by M. Reeve”. In Journal of Slavic Linguistics 21(2), 317-340. 


M. Aloni, V. Kimmelman, F. Roelofsen, G. Weidman Sassoon, K. Schulz, & M. Westera (eds) 2012, Logic, Language and Meaning - 18th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 19-21, 2011, Revised Selected Papers. Dordrecht: Springer

"Doubling in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands: looking for a unified account " Proceedings of IATL 27 , MITWPL, pp 57-81. (see below)

Word order in RSL. An extended report. Linguistics in Amsterdam 5(1), 1-59. See link below. "Word order in Russian Sign Language" Sign Language Studies 12(3 ), 414-445.


Review of ''Sign Languages.'' Ed. by Diane Brentari. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Voprosy Jazykoznanija  2011, vol. 4: 135-143.   (In Russian). See a non-final version below.

Binding Theory and Sign Languages. In D.V. Gerasimov (Ed.), ACTA LINGUISTICA PETROPOLITANA (pp. 88-92). Saint Petersburg: Nauka. (In Russian)   


Review of "Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect, and Modality", eds. Lotte Hogeweg, Helen de Hoop and Andrej Malchukov (2010). Voprosy Jazykoznanija , 6. Pp 138-145. (in Russian)


«Parts of speech in Russian Sign Language: The role of iconicity and economy» in Sign Language &Linguistics 12:2 (2009), pp. 161-186

«On the interpretation of èto in so-called èto-clefts» in Zybatow, Gerhild; Lenertová, Denisa; Junghanns, Uwe; Biskup, Petr   (eds.) (2009):Studies in Formal Slavic Phonology, Morphology,Syntax, Semantics and Information Structure: Proceedings of FDSL 7, Leipzig   2007. Frankfurt : Peter Lang, pp. 319-329


«Historical Changes of signs in Russian Sign Language» Abstract at the Conference on Typology and Grammar, St Petersburg (in Russian) See below.

«Irregular Negation in Russian SignLanguage» Proceedings of MSCL-2, Moscow (in Russian) See below.


«Grammaticalization of Stative Predicates in Adyghe» Proceedings of the Field Research of the students of RSUH , Moscow (In Russian) See a non-final version below.


"Reflexive pronouns in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands". MA thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam 2009.

(together with Pavel Rudnev) ''Breaking the Coreference Rule.'' See below.

"Basic word order in Russian Sign Language", Thesis, Russian State University for the Humanities (in Russian) 2010.

"Auxiliaries in Adyghe". Fieldwork Report. Moscow - Amsterdam 2010.


(with R. Pfau & E.O. Aboh) Word-internal coordination in handling classifier predicates. At Venice FEAST, September 1.

Transitivity in RSL based on corpus data. At the 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages:  Corpus Mining, Portorož, May 28 (poster, see publications tab for the paper)

Impersonal reference in Russian Sign Language. At Grote Taaldag, Utrecht, February 6, 2016. (download slides below)

Question-answer pairs in the corpus of NGT. At TISLR 12, Melbourne, January 4-7, 2016 (download slides below)

(together with R. Pfau & E.O. Aboh) Argument structure of Russian Sign Language classifiers: insights from corpus data (poster). At TISLR 12, Melbourne, January 4-7, 2016 (download poster below)


Distributive quantification in Russian Sign Language. At Barcelona FEAST, May 4-6. (download slides below).

(in Russian, invited) Information Structure in RSL and NGT. At MGGU open linguistic seminar, Moscow, April 4th (download slides below)

(in Russian, invited) Weak hand holds in RSL and NGT. At SKIL conference, Moscow, April 2nd (download slides below)

(in Russian, invited) Information Structure in Sign Languages. At RGGU open linguistic seminar, Msocow, April 1st (download slides below)

Repetition, reduplication, and doubling in Russian Sign Language. At DGFS, Workshop “Exact repetition in grammar and discourse”, Leipzig, March 4.

(invited) «R-impersonals in Sign Language of the Netherlands» Workshop on Sign languages and R-impersonal pronouns, Paris, February 6.



«Weak hand holds and types of Merge.» At Venice Feast Colloquium, Venice, June 9-11.

«Focus in Russian Sign Language.» At Linguistic Rights of the Deaf 2, Moscow, May 20-22. 

«Focus in Russian Sign Language.» Linguistic Evidence 2014, Tübingen, February 13-15. 


«Information Structure in RSL and NGT» SLLS Festa, Osaka, September 27-29 (invited) 

Topics in RSL and NGT: how prominent are they? At TISLR 11, London, July 10-13, 2013. 

Topics in Sign Language of the Netherlands: insights from a corpus study . At Workshop on Information Structure in Spoken Language Corpora. Bielefeld, June 10-12, 2013.  

(together with Anna Sáfár) Weak hand holds in two sign languages. At Language Fest, April 27, University of Connecticut. See poster below. 

Multiple tiers, multiple trees. Weak hand holds in Russian Sign Language. At Chicago Linguistic Society Meeting, April 18-21, University of Chicago. See slides below. 

(together with Anna Sáfár) Manual holds: an analysis of two sign languages and two genres. At DGFS: Linguistic Foundations of Narration in Spoken and Sign Language. March 13-15, 2013


Weak hand preservation in RSL (in Russian). At Linguistic studies of Russian Sign Language . Moscow, November 17, 2012. See presentation below. Information structure categories: evidence from sign languages. At C ategories of Information Structure Across Languages . Nijmegen, November 9-10, 2012 See presentation below.
(together with Roland Pfau) "Information Structure in Sign Languages". OUPIS workshop, Frankfurt, May 10-11. 


"Doubling in two sign languages: a pragmaticaccount". Information Structure: Empirical Perspectives on Theory. University of Potsdam, December 2-3.
"Doubling in RSL and NGT: a unified account." IATL, Haifa, October 24-25. 

Doubling in RSL and NGT:form and function. At NAP-dag, Amsterdam, October 7. (see presentation below)

(together with Pavel Rudnev) Russian Sign Language Pronouns, Indexicality and the Signing Space. At "The world of reflexives" workshop, Utrecht, August 25-26.

"Binding Theory and Sign Languages: the role of  signing space". VeniceFEAST, June 20-22, 2011 (see presentation below)

"Word order in Russian Sign Language". Sign Language Colloquium, Nijmegen, May 24, 2011 (see presentation below)
"Auxiliaries in Adyghe". Conference on Caucasian Languages, Leipzig, May 13-15, 2011 (see handout below)
"Binding theory, ambiguity and sign languages". At the 12th Szklarska Poreba Workshop, March 11-15, 2011 (see presentation below).


"Word orderin Russian Sign Language". At Colloquium on Sign Language Issues, UvA, December 14t. See link to presentation below.

"Auxiliaries in Adyghe". Workshop on grammaticalization, November 10, UvA. See handout below.

«Reflexive pronouns in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands: modality anduniversals » (poster) Theoretical Issue in Sign Language Linguistics (TISLR 10), Purdue University, September 30 - October 2.

« Breaking the co-reference rule» (togetherwith Pavel Rudnev)Peculiar Binding Configurations, University of Stuttgart, September 24-25.


« Binding theory and Sign Languages» (in Russian)  6th Conference on Typology andGrammar, St. Petersburg , November26-28.

«Reflexive pronouns in Russian Sign Language» (poster) Symposium «From gesture to sign: pointing in oral and signed languages», Lille ,June 4-5

«Russian grammar features in Russian Sign Language discourse» (poster) International Conference on Minority Languages XII «Language contact and change in multiply and multimodally bilingual minority situations »,Tartu, May 28-30


«Poetry and prose: semantic experiment» (in Russian) IX International Conference «Slavic poetry: prosody and linguistics», Moscow , June 23-29

«Nouns and Verbs in Russian Sign Language: Phonology andLexicon» 3rd Annual Moscow  Student Conference on Linguistics, April 17-18


«On the interpretationof èto in so-called èto-clefts» FDSL-7, Leipzig , December 1-3

«Historical Changes of signs in Russian Sign Language» (inRussian) 4th Conferenceon Typology andGrammar, St. Petersburg , November1-3

«Irregular Negation in Russian Sign Language» (in Russian) Moscow Student ConferenceonLinguistics, April 13

«Syntactic Features ofNegation in Russian Sign language» (in Russian) Student Conference «Syntactic Structures», Moscow , April 5-6


«Grammaticalization of Stative Predicates in Adyghe» (in Russian) Field Research of the students of RSUH, Moscow , December 14

«Grammaticalization of Stative Predicates in Adyghe» (poster, in Russian), 3rd Conference on Typology and Grammar, St Petersburg , November1-3

Меня зовут Вадим Киммельман, и я изучаю жестовые языки.

Когда я начал заниматься лингвистикой, я задумался о том, что жестовые языки тоже являются языками, и интересно изучать их с лингвистической точки зрения. Конечно, скоро я выяснил, что я не первый, кому пришла в голову эта идея, однако русский жестовый язык действительно является малоизученным. Я начал учить жестовый язык, на курсах в центре имени Зайцевой (см. ссылку ниже), и понял, что РЖЯ очень красивый, сложный и интересный с точки зрения грамматики.

Я написал несколько работ о русском жестовом языке, например, о порядке слов и о частях речи в РЖЯ, а также о нидерландском жестовом языке. Недавно я защитил диссертацию про информационую структуру в русском и нидерландском жестовых языках (ниже можно скачать краткий пересказ этой диссертации на русском языке, а также посмотреть пересказ диссертации на РЖЯ).

Сейчас я работаю исследователем в новом проекте, посвящённом аргументой структуре в трёх жестовых языках: русском, нидерландском, и немецком.  

На этой странице вы можете увидеть и скачать некоторые мои публикации и презентации о жестовых языках на русском языке, а также ссылки на полезные сайты по русском (и другим) жестовым языкам. 

Кроме того, я пишу популярные статьи, посвящённые (психо)лингвистике жестовых языков. Ссылки на эти статьи можно найти ниже.

Популярные статьи



Рабочая память

Никарагуанский жестовый язык

Усвоение языка

Научные публикации

(здесь содержатся только публикации на русском языке; публикации на английском языке находятся на соседней вкладке)

2014. Краткое содержание диссертации "Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands".  

2011. «Рецензия на книгу " Sign Languages " (жестовые языки), ред. D . Brentari ». Вопросы языкознания 2011 , 4: 135-143. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

2010. «Порядок слов в русском жестовом языке». Дипломная работа, РГГУ. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

2007. «Исторические изменения в русском жестовом языке».Тезисы Конференции по Типологии иГрамматике, Санкт-Петербург. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

«Нерегулярное отрицание в русском жестовом языке». Материалы конференции МСКЛ-2, Москва. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)


2015 "Информационная структура в жестовых языках". Открытый лингвистический семинар РГГУ. Москва, 1 апреля. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

"Удержания пассивной руки в РЖЯ и НЖЯ". Конференция СКИЛ. Москва, 2 апреля. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

"Информационная структура в РЖЯ и НЖЯ". МГГУ. Москва, 4 апреля. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

2014  "Выражение фокуса в РЖЯ". Лингвистические права глухих". Москва. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

2012 "Удержание пассивной руки в РЖЯ: синтаксис и прагматика". Первая лингвистическая конференция по РЖЯ. Москва, 17 ноября. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)
2011. «Лингвистика и жестовые языки». Презентация на курсах повышения квалификации переводчиков, РГСУ. Общая презентация для нелингвистов (ссылка на скачивание ниже) 

2009. «Теория связывания и жестовые языки». Конференция по Типологии и Грамматике, Санкт-Петербург. (ссылка на скачивание ниже)

Ссылки - сайт с материалами порусскомужестовому языку. На нём в частности можнопрочитатьпочти все работы, написанные о грамматике РЖЯ в последнее время, а также новости из мира глухих и т.д. - группа Вконтакте «Центра имени Зайцевой», который организует курсы РЖЯ в Москве. - сайт, на котором можно сравнивать жесты разных жестовых языков; РЖЯ там тоже представлен - сайт со словарём РЖЯ





  • Kimmelman, V. (2015). Multiple tiers, multiple trees: Weak hand holds in Russian Sign language. In Proceedings of CLS 49 (2013). (pp. 225-238). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. [details]
  • Kimmelman, V. (2015). Quantifiers in RSL: distributivity and compositionality. In P. Arkadiev, I. Kapitonov, Y. Lander, E. Rakhilina, & S. Tatevosov (Eds.), Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata. (pp. 121-134). Moscow: LRC Publishers. [details] [PDF]


  • Kimmelman, V. (2012). Doubling in RSL and NGT: Towards a unified explanation. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, 65, 57-81. [details]
  • Kimmelman, V. (2012). Word order in Russian Sign Language: an extended report. Linguistics in Amsterdam, 5(1). [details] [PDF]


  • Kimmelman, V. I. (2011). Teorija svjazyvanija i žestovye jazyki. Acta linguistica Petropolitana, 7, pt. 3, 88-92. [details]


  • Kimmelman, V. (2015). Information Structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands. Sign Language & Linguistics, 18(1), 142-150. DOI: 10.1075/sll.18.1.06kim [details]
  • Kimmelman, V. (2015). [Review of: A. Herrmann (2013) Modal and Focus Particles in Sign Languages: A Cross-Linguistic Study]. Linguistische Berichte, 241, 81-89. [details]


  • Kimmelman, V. (2013). [Review of: M. Reeve (2012) Clefts and their relatives]. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, 21(2), 317-340. DOI: 10.1353/jsl.2013.0008 [details]


  • Kimmelman, V. I. (2011). [Review of: D. Brentari (2010) Sign languages]. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2011/4, 135-143. [details / files]


  • Kimmelman, V. (2014). Information structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands [details] [PDF]
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications.

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