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Dr M. (Marloes) Oomen

Faculty of Science
ILLC

Visiting address
  • Science Park 107
Postal address
  • Postbus 94242
    1090 GE Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    About me

    I am a linguist interested in the study of sign languages from formal and typological perspectives. I enjoy analyzing corpus data and I have a knack for detecting interesting patterns in them, but I also more and more often integrate experimental methods in my work. I strongly believe a combination of methods gives us a more well-rounded view of whatever linguistic phenomenon we are studying: corpus data are ideal for determining the extent of variation, while data obtained in more controlled experimental settings can tell us more about the constraints on variation. 

    I am currently working at UvA as a postdoc in the project I can't hear you - could you repeat the question in sign language please? (PI: Floris Roelofsen). We investigate how different types of polar and wh-questions are marked in Sign Language of the Netherlands, paying special attention to the use of non-manual markers (e.g. brow raise or lowering), and using experimental methods to obtain data.

    In April 2022, I was awarded an NWO Veni grant, which will allow me to carry out a three-year postdoctoral research project entitled Cat – there. Soap – where? Abstract use of space in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Here's a brief description of what the project will be about:

    "In sign language conversations, people, animals, and things often get associated with seemingly random locations in space: sign ‘cat’ and point to the right, then point again to refer to that same cat. This research identifies the unwritten rules signers apply when picking out spatial locations to represent such referents."

    I will start in September!

     

    Previous work

    I hold a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht (major: Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience), where my interest in sign linguistics and sign language structure was first sparked. After obtaining my degree for the research master Linguistics at the UvA in 2015, with a thesis on psych-verbs in Sign Language of the Netherlands, I continued at the same university with a PhD project on argument structure in German Sign Language (DGS).  In 2020, I defended my dissertation on verb classification and the syntactic and semantic properties of verbs in German Sign Language at University of Amsterdam. 

    After finishing my dissertation, I was a tutor and lecturer at the Linguistics department for a year (2019-2020). I taught various courses on syntax/semantics and sign language linguistics in the BA and MA Linguistics programs, and I supervised a number of BA/MA theses.

    I then spent 1+ year as a Niels Stensen Fellow with Carlo Geraci and the other members of the sign language group at Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. During this time, I studied the phenomenon of "Neg-raising" - a popular topic among (spoken language) syntacticians, pragmaticians, and semanticists alike - in three sign languages. We are currently working on finalizing the write-up of our findings - keep an eye out for future publications, or catch us at an upcoming conference!

     

    Dissertation

    An updated version of my dissertation has recently been published as a book in the De Gruyter series Sign Languages and Deaf Communities! You can get a (hardcover or digital) copy here. Or, read my dissertation for free here.

    Here's what's on the book's back cover:

    "In many sign languages around the world, some verbs express grammatical agreement, while many others do not. Curiously, there is a remarkable degree of semantic overlap across sign languages between verbs that do and do not possess agreement properties. This book scrutinizes the interaction between semantic and morphosyntactic structure in verb constructions in German Sign Language (DGS). Naturalistic dialogues from the DGS Corpus form the primary data source. It is shown that certain semantic properties, also known to govern transitivity marking in spoken languages, are predictive of verb type in DGS, where systematic iconic mappings play a mediating role. The results enable the formulation of cross-linguistic predictions about the interplay between verb semantics and verb type in sign languages. An analysis of the morphosyntactic properties of different verb types leads up to the conclusion that even ‘plain’ verbs agree with their arguments, where iconicity again plays a crucial role. The findings motivate a unified syntactic analysis in terms of agreement of constructions with verbs of all types, thus offering a novel solution to the typological puzzle that supposedly only a subset of verbs agree in DGS and other sign languages."

  • Full list of publications

    Forthc.

    Klomp, Ulrika, Marloes Oomen & Roland Pfau. Forthc. Negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. In Matti Miestamo & Ljuba Veselinova (eds.), Negation in the Languages of the World. Berlin: Language Science Press.

    Van Boven, Cindy, Marloes Oomen, Roland Pfau & Lotte Rusch. In press. Negative Concord in Sign Language of the Netherlands: Journey through a corpus. In Ella Wehrmeyer (ed.), New Advances in Sign Language Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Oomen, Marloes. In press. Recurring iconic mapping patterns within and across verb types in German Sign Language. Iconicity in Language and Literature, vol. 18. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    2021

    Oomen, Marloes. 2021. Iconicity and verb agreement. A corpus-based syntactic analysis of German Sign Language. In Herrmann, A. & Steinbach, M. (Eds.), Sign Language and Deaf Community series, vol. 15. Berlin: De Gruyter. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110742787

    Van Boven, Cindy & Marloes Oomen. 2021. Habituals in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Linguistics in Amsterdam 14(1), 160-184.

    2020

    Oomen, Marloes. 2020. Spatial verbs are demonstration verbs. Revista Linguística 16(3): 227-249. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31513/linguistica.2020.v16n3a36966

    Oomen, Marloes. 2020. Iconicity as a mediator between verb semantics and morphosyntactic structure: A corpus-based study on verbs in German Sign Language. Dissertation abstract, Sign Language & Linguistics. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sll.00058.oom

    2019

    Oomen, M. 2019. Iconicity as a mediator between verb semantics and morphosyntactic structure: A corpus-based study on verbs in German Sign Language. Dissertation, University of Amsterdam.

    Börstell, Carl, Tommi Jantunen, Vanja de Lint, Johanna Mesch, Vadim Kimmelman & Marloes Oomen. 2019. Transitivity prominence within and across modalities. Open Linguistics 5: 666-689.

    Kimmelman, Vadim, Vanja de Lint, Connie de Vos, Marloes Oomen, Roland Pfau, Lianne Vink & Enoch O. Aboh. 2019. Argument structure of classifier predicates: Canonical and non-canonical mappings in four sign languages. Open Linguistics 5: 332-353.

    Oomen, Marloes & Vadim Kimmelman. 2019. Body-anchored verbs and argument omission in two sign languages. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 4(1), 42: 1-36.

    2018

    Oomen, Marloes. 2018. Verb types and semantic maps. FEAST 2: 116-132.

    Kimmelman, Vadim, Ulrika Klomp, & Marloes Oomen. 2018. Where methods meet: Combining corpus data and elicitation in sign language research. In M. Bono, E. Efthimiou, S.-E. Fotinea, T. Hanke, J.Hochgesang, J. Kristoffersen, J. Mesch and Y. Osugi (eds.), Proceedings of 8th Workshop on the representation and processing of Sign Languages: Involving the linguistic community, 95-100. Paris: ELRA. 

    Oomen, Marloes, Roland Pfau & Enoch O. Aboh. 2018. High and low negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. FEAST 1: 39-47. 

    2017

    Oomen, Marloes 2017. Iconicity in argument structure: Psych-verbs in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Sign Language & Linguistics 20(1): 55-108. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sll.20.1.03oom

    Oomen, Marloes & Roland Pfau. 2017. Signing not (or not): A typological perspective on standard negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Linguistic Typology 21(1): 1-51. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2017-0001

    2016

    Oomen, Marloes. 2016. The marking of two aspectual distinctions in Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Linguistics in Amsterdam 9(2): 30-55.

  • Refereed & invited talks

    Feel free to contact me for slides!

    Upcoming

    Marloes Oomen & Carlo Geraci. Upcoming. As strong as an NPI in LIS, LSF & NGT. Poster to be presented at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 14, Osaka. 26-29 September.

    Cindy van Boven, Marloes Oomen & Roland Pfau. Upcoming. Negative Concord in Sign Language of the Netherlands: Journey through a corpus. Poster to be presented at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 14, Osaka. 26-29 September.

    Carlo Geraci, Marloes Oomen & Mirko Santoro. Upcoming. As strong as an NPI in LIS, LSF & NGT. Poster to be presented at Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 32, Mexico City. 6 June.

    Carlo Geraci, Marloes Oomen & Mirko Santoro. Upcoming. As strong as an NPI in LIS, LSF & NGT. Poster to be presented at Typological Generalizations and Semantic Theory Workshop, Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) 45, London. 26 April.

    2022

    Oomen, Marloes. 2022. Verb type in German Sign Language and transitivity in spoken languages: Governed by the same semantic properties. Paper presented at Zadar Linguistic Forum. 7 April.

    Oomen, Marloes, Carlo Geraci & Mirko Santoro. 2022. Neg-raising in three sign languages. Poster presented at Incontro di Grammatica Generativa 27, Catania. 25 February.

    2021

    Van Boven, Cindy & Marloes Oomen. 2021. Habituals in Sign Language of the Netherlands: A corpus-based study. Poster presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST), Hong Kong. 2 June.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2021. Iconicity and verb agreement. A corpus-based syntactic analysis of German Sign Language. Invited talk, Meaning & Modality Linguistics Lab Meeting, Harvard University. 4 November.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2021. Neg-raising in two sign languages. Invited talk, Göttingen Linguistics Colloquium, Georg-August-Universität. 16 June.

    Van Boven, Cindy & Marloes Oomen. 2021. Habituals in Sign Language of the Netherlands: A corpus-based study. Poster presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST), Hong Kong. 2 June.

    Oomen, Marloes & Carlo Geraci. 2021. Neg-raising in French Sign Language. Invited talk, LINGUAE seminar, Institut Jean Nicod, ENS Paris. 1 April.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2021. Verb type in German Sign Language and transitivity in spoken languages: Governed by the same semantic properties. Paper presented at the workshop on Lexical Restrictions and Grammatical Relations, Amsterdam. 29 March.

    2020

    Oomen, Marloes. 2020. Verb constructions in German Sign Language: A unified analysis in terms of agreement. Invited talk, Syntax Interface Lecture series, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University. 2 November.

    2019

    Oomen, Marloes, Roland Pfau & Ulrika Klomp. 2019. On the nature of Neg-raising in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at the 13th conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, Hamburg. 26-28 September 2019.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2019. look-at that! An attitude predicate in German Sign Language (DGS). Poster presented at the 13th conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, Hamburg. 26-28 September 2019.

    Klomp, Ulrika, Marloes Oomen & Roland Pfau. 2019. Headshake patterns in Neg-raising sentences in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at SignNonmanuals 2, Graz. 3 May 2019.

    2018

    Oomen, Marloes. 2018. Iconicity in sentence structure. Invited talk at Priročna slovnica (Handy grammar) conference, Ministry of Culture, Ljubljana, 16 November.

    Oomen, Marloes & Vadim Kimmelman. 2018. An agreement analysis of body-anchored verb constructions. Paper presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 49), Ithaca, NY. 6 October.

    Klomp, Ulrika, Marloes Oomen & Roland Pfau. 2018. Typological aspects of negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands: Negative particles, negative modals, and Neg-raising. Paper presented at Syntax of the World’s Languages (SWL) 8, Paris. 5 September.

    Oomen, Marloes & Vadim Kimmelman. 2018. Iconically motivated subject drop in two sign languages. Paper presented at Syntax of the World’s Languages (SWL) 8, Paris. 3 September.

    Oomen, Marloes & Vadim Kimmelman. 2018.  An agreement analysis of body-anchored verb constructions. Poster presented at the workshop on Sign Language Grammars through the Formal and Experimental Glass, Rethymno. 25 July.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2018. Verb types and semantic maps. Poster presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST), Venice. 18 June.

    Kimmelman, Vadim, Ulrika Klomp, & Marloes Oomen. 2018.  Where methods meet: Combining corpus data and elicitation in sign language research. Poster presented at the 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Involving the Language Community, LREC, Miyazaki. 12 May.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2018. Iconic variables and null subjects in German Sign Language. Poster presented at Sign Language Syntax and Linguistic Theory Workshop, Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) 41, Budapest. 14 April.

    Oomen, Marloes. 2018. Iconically motivated subject drop in German Sign Language (DGS). Paper presented at the Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe (ConSOLE), London. 14 February.

    Börstell, Carl, Tommi Jantunen, Johanna Mesch, Vadim Kimmelman, Marloes Oomen, & Vanja de Lint. 2018. Transitivity prominence within and across modalities. Paper presented at Argument Structure Across Modalities (ASAM), Amsterdam. 1 February.

    Kimmelman, Vadim, Enoch O. Aboh, Vanja de Lint, Connie de Vos, Marloes Oomen, Roland Pfau, & Lianne Vink. 2018. Non-canonical argument structure in classifier predicates in four sign languages. Paper presented at Argument Structure Across Modalities (ASAM), Amsterdam. 2 February.

    2017

    Pfau, Roland, Marloes Oomen & Enoch Aboh. 2017. High and low negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at Western Conference on Linguistics (WECOL), Boise, ID. 20 October.

    Oomen, Marloes & Roland Pfau. 2017. Signing not (or not): A corpus-based study on negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at the workshop on Corpus-Based Approaches to Sign Language Linguistics: Into the Second Decade, Birmingham. 24 July.

    Kimmelman, Vadim, Marloes Oomen & Vanja de Lint. 2017. Overt arguments in RSL, DGS and NGT: a corpus study. Paper presented at the workshop on Corpus-Based Approaches to Sign Language Linguistics: Into the Second Decade, Birmingham. 24 July.

    Aboh, Enoch, Marloes Oomen & Roland Pfau. 2017. High and low negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST), Reykjavik. 21 June 2017.

    2016

    Oomen, Marloes. 2016. Psych-verb constructions in Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Paper presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory (FEAST), Venice. 1 September.

    2015

    Oomen. Marloes. 2015. Psych-verbs in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Paper presented at the first meeting on Morphosyntax of Portuguese Sign Language (LGP) and Other Sign Languages, Porto. 26 November.

    Oomen, Marloes & Roland Pfau. 2015. Signing NOT (or not): A corpus-based study on negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Poster presented at the Workshop on Negation (Gö-Neg), Göttingen. 19 September.

  • Publications

    2022

    2020

    2019

    2018

    • Kimmelman, V., Klomp, U., & Oomen, M. (2018). Where methods meet: Combining corpus data and elicitation in sign language research. In M. Bono, E. Efthimiou, S-E. Fotinea, T. Hanke, J. Hochgesang, J. Kristoffersen, J. Mesch, & Y. Osugi (Eds.), 8th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Involving the Language Community: LREC 2018 Workshop : proceedings (pp. 95-100). European Language Resources Association (ELRA). http://lrec-conf.org/workshops/lrec2018/W1/summaries/18011_W1.html [details]

    2017

    2016

    2021

    2018

    Talk / presentation

    • Oomen, M. (speaker), Pfau, R. (speaker) & Klomp, U. (speaker) (27-9-2019). On the nature of Neg-raising in Sign Language of the Netherlands, Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 13, Hamburg.
    • Klomp, U. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker) & Pfau, R. (speaker) (3-5-2019). Headshake patterns in Neg-raising sentences in Sign Language of the Netherlands, SignNonmanuals2, Graz.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) (16-11-2018). Iconicity in sentence structure, Priročna slovnica (Handy grammar) , Ljubljana.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) & Kimmelman, V. (speaker) (6-10-2018). An agreement analysis of body-anchored verb constructions, North Eastern Linguistics Society (NELS) 49, Ithaca, NY.
    • Klomp, U. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker) & Pfau, R. (speaker) (5-9-2018). Typological aspects of negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands: Negative particles, negative modals and neg-raising, Negation in the languages of the world, Paris. https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/4
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) & Kimmelman, V. (speaker) (31-3-2018). Iconically motivated subject drop in two sign languages, Syntax of the World's Languages 8, Paris.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) (14-2-2018). Iconically motivated subject drop in German Sign Language (DGS), ConSOLE 26, London, UK.
    • Kimmelman, V. (speaker), de Lint, V. (speaker), de Vos, C. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker), Pfau, R. (speaker), Vink, L. (speaker) & Aboh, E. O. (speaker) (2-2-2018). Non-canonical argument structure in classifier predicates in four sign languages, Argument Structure Across Modalities, Amsterdam.
    • Pfau, R. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker) & Aboh, E. O. (speaker) (20-10-2017). High and low negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands, Western Conference on Linguistics, Boise.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) & Pfau, R. (speaker) (24-7-2017). Signing NOT (or not): A corpus-based study on negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands., Corpus-based Approaches to Sign Language Linguistics, Birmingham.
    • Kimmelman, V. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker) & de Lint, V. (speaker) (24-7-2017). Overt arguments in RSL, DGS and NGT: a corpus study., Corpus-based Approaches to Sign Language Linguistics, Birmingham.
    • Aboh, E. O. (speaker), Oomen, M. (speaker) & Pfau, R. (speaker) (21-6-2017). High and low negation in Sign Language of the Netherlands., Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory, Reykjavik.
    • Pfau, R. (invited speaker), Kimmelman, V. (invited speaker), Klomp, U. (invited speaker), de Lint, V. (invited speaker) & Oomen, M. (invited speaker) (20-4-2017). Grammar & society: How sign linguistics benefits the Deaf community, Beyond Hearing – Cultures Overlooked, Amsterdam.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) (1-9-2016). Psych-verb constructions in Sign Language of the Netherlands, Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign Language Theory, Venice.
    • Oomen, M. (speaker) (26-11-2015). Psych-verbs in Sign Language of the Netherlands, 1st Meeting on the Morphosyntax of Portuguese Sign Language and other sign languages, Porto.

    Others

    • Lammertink, I. (organiser) & Oomen, M. (organiser) (11-11-2016). Thesis market MA students linguistics, Amsterdam. Thesis market for MA students (linguistics). PhD students and senior researchers of the ACLC present their studies and possibilities for students to (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).

    2020

    2021

    2019

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  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities