Deborah Pichler

Professor/Masters & Doctoral Program Director
Language, Education & Culture

Deborah Pichler

Phone Numbers

202-651-5427 (V)


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Sorenson Language and Communication Center 3218


  • 2001 Ph.D. in Linguistics. University of Connecticut
  • 1998  MA in Linguistics. University of Connecticut
  • 1995 B.A. in French Language & Culture. Pennsylvania State University
  • 1995 B.S. in General Biology. Pennsylvania State University

Areas of Expertise

My research focuses on acquisition of sign language in various contexts:

  • Acquisition of ASL as a first language by mono- and bilingual children (Codas and Deaf children with CIs from Deaf families)
  • Acquisition of ASL as a second language by hearing (M2L2) adult learners
  • Acquisition of ASL as a second language by Deaf (M1L2) learners

I teach courses related to language acquisition, as well as the generative linguistics sequence in the LIN graduate curriculum. Since 2011, I have also offered online courses (with all lectures in ASL) on language acquisition, focusing mainly on the development of ASL by Deaf and Coda children, and hearing adults.

Face to face courses:

  • LIN 702 Generative Linguistics I
  • LIN 733 Generative Linguistics II
  • LIN 802 Generative Linguistics III
  • LIN 811 First Language Acquisition 
  • LIN 812 Second Language Acquisition

Online courses:

  • LIN 510 Intro to First and Second Language Acquisition (3 cr)
  • PST 375 Language Learning by Eye or By Ear (1 cr)

Selected Service:

  • Council on Graduate Education, LIN representative (until 2016)
  • Gallaudet Teaching Learning with Technology Committee, LIN representative
  • Sign Language Linguistics Society (SLLS), North American representative

Research Projects:

I am currently working on research related to two grants: a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) comparing early language development of Coda children and signing children with cochlear implants in the U.S. and Brazil (in collaboration with Dr. Diane Lillo-Martin at the University of Connecticut and Ronice de Quadros at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil), and a Gallaudet Priority Grant for the establishment and analysis of a modest learner corpus of ASL from M1 and M2 learners at Gallaudet (in collaboration with Dr. Mary Thumann).


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002