Julie Hochgesang, PhD

Associate Professor/IRB Chair
Language, Education & Culture

Julie Hochgesang

Phone Numbers

202-651-5450 (V)


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Personal Website



Sorenson Language and Communication Center 3206

Office Hours

Varies by semester and are posted on office door. Otherwise by appointment.

Julie A. Hochgesang /hoʊkˌsæŋ/ is a sighted Deaf white woman who uses ASL and English. She has lived in New Jersey, North Illinois, South California, Kenya and the DC area. In short, Julie is interested in documentation - the digital record of knowledge that can be openly shared. As a member and/or ally of diverse communities (e.g., people of color, LGBTQ, different regions and so on), Julie believes in making space for all kinds of knowledge, especially those that have traditionally not been shared. 

For a bit of background, Julie attended college at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where she majored in English and minored in Native American Studies (1999). She then taught developmental English for two years at CSUN before moving to Kenya, East Africa to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In Kenya, Julie taught for 2 years at a deaf school on the coast and worked with the deaf community in developing a CD dictionary for KSL. When she returned to the states, Julie wanted to continue work with language documentation so she attended Gallaudet for a PhD in linguistics. Julie received her MA in 2007 and, in 2013, completed her dissertation which focused on evaluating the use of different notation systems for signed languages in the study of child language acquisition.

Along with the Peace Corps, Julie's early research experiences at Gallaudet were influential. First, she worked at GRI (Gallaudet Research Institute) with Dr. Michael Karchmer and Dr. Ross E. Mitchell. She then worked with Professor Deborah Chen Pichler for over four years as her lab assistant on a couple of projects. The first was for a cross-linguistic study of possessives and existentials, an international study led by Dr. Ulrike Zeshan. Then, Julie became her lab manager for a longitudinal study of young CODA children in which they tracked their early ASL and English development (this project was done in conjunction with Diane Lillo-Martin and Ronice De Quadros. For that project, Julie became very familiar with ELAN, a software program used for annotation (transcribing). Since then, she has given ELAN workshops and served as an ELAN consultant. She also worked on the ID Gloss Project, a collaborative project headed by Dr. Lillo-Martin of University of Connecticut. She also taught in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies for two years (2010-2012). See "What I Do" tab for more recent work or this video created by the CREST team for CREST Fest 2021.

Julie's on Twitter. She loves taking photos too, and sometimes videos. She also manages the Instagram and Twitter accounts for ASL Signbank along with the Instagram and Twitter accounts for the Linguistics Department. 

Julie is an associate professor of Linguistics and teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses on linguistics. She also does research and service. She is particularly interested in phonology and phonetics of signed languages, language documentation (fieldwork, transcription and corpus linguistics) of signed languages and making linguistics accessible to the general community (ASL teachers, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, or anyone who's interested in knowing about language). She is currently focused on building the ASL Signbank for SLAAASh which is directly linked to ELAN

Along with ongoing efforts to create accessible ASL collections for the Deaf communities, she also consults for working with the Deaf communities (language documentation, language advocacy, etc) and ELAN.

LIN301: Introduction to Phonology and Morphology
LIN480: Linguistics Research Experience
LIN571: Field Methods
LIN572: Language Documentation
LIN795: Special Topics - Corpus Linguistics
LIN701: Phonology I
LIN731: Phonology II
LIN801: Phonology III

PhD courses for the PhD students I advise

not active
ASL303: Classifiers/Depiction: Theory and Application
ASL304: Fingerspelling and Numbers in ASL 
ASL305: Nonmanual Grammatical Signals in ASL 
ASL405: Discourse of ASL
ASL795/ASL724: Sign Language Linguistics for Sign Language Instructors
LIN101: Sign Language and Sign Systems
PST361/LIN661 Introduction to the Structure of ASL 
PST362/LIN662 Survey of ASL Phonology
PST364/LIN664 Survey of ASL Syntax
PST365/LIN665 Sociolinguistics of ASL
PST371 Transcription of Signed Languages



  • ELAN consultant for department, other departments or other universities doing working with signed language research 
  • Social media coordinator for Linguistics Department (Blog, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Other activities required to keep department going (members of dissertation committees, doctoral advisor, compendium, qualifying exams, meetings, etc)


  • IRB Chair (2019-ongoing); Department representative on IRB board (2013-ongoing)
  • Different interview committees (faculty, dean)

(Video for CREST Fest 2021 about the work I do. See reference below)

Some of the projects Julie has worked on include: a language documentation project with the Deaf Haitian community (LSHDoP) from 2014-2015; SLAAASh (Sign Language Acquisition, Annotation, Archiving and Sharing, 2015-2020) and "Philadelphia Signs Project" (2015-ongoing) with University of Penn's Jami Fisher and Meredith Tamminga. Currently, Julie is actively managing the ASL Signbank (also see this) which was created under SLAAASh. She is also involved in initial efforts towards creating documentation for ASL at Gallaudet (GUDA). In the fall of 2019, she started work on a three-year project with Co-PIs, Paul Dudis, Emily Shaw and Miako Villanueva, called "Motivated Look at Indicating Verbs in ASL" (MoLo for short). 

Highlighted publications, presentations and tools

Chen Pichler, D., Hochgesang, J.A., Lillo-Martin, D., & de Quadros, R. (2010). Conventions for sign and speech transcription in child bimodal bilingual corpora. Languages, Interaction and Acquisition, 1(1), 11-40.

Fisher, J., J.A. Hochgesang, M. Tamminga. (2018). The historical and social context of the Philadelphia ASL Community. Sign Language Studies 18(3), 429-460.

Hochgesang, J. A. (2021, June 14). Documenting Language Use of the ASL Communities [Invited presentation]. CREST Fest 2021, Virtual Conference. https://www.crest-network.com/fest

Hochgesang, J.A.(2018).SLAAASh and the ASL Deaf Communities (or “so many gifs!”) In Involving the Language Community: Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages. Ed by E. Efthimiou, E. Fotinea, T. Hanke, J. Hochgesang, J. Kristoffersen, & J. Mesch (Eds). 63-68. 11th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2018, Miyazaki, Japan. Paris. ELRA.

Hochgesang, Julie (2018): Quick Guide to Stokoe Notation. figshare. Paper. 

Hochgesang, J.A. (2015). Ethics of researching signed languages: The case of Kenyan Sign Language (KSL). In A.C. Cooper & K.K. Rashid (Eds.), Signed Languages in Sub-Saharan Africa: Politics, citizenship and shared experiences of difference, 11-30. Washington, DC : Gallaudet University Press.

Hochgesang, J. (2014). Using design principles to consider representation of hand in notation systems. Sign Language Studies 14(4), 488-542.

Hochgesang, Julie A., Jennifer Willow, Rafael Treviño, and Emily Shaw. (2019). Gallaudet University Documentation of ASL (GUDA): Whither a Corpus for ASL? Conference Poster presented at TISLR13, the 13th Conference of Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, Hamburg, Germany (September 26-28, 2019). 

Hochgesang, J.A., O. Crasborn, and D. Lillo-Martin. (2017-2021) ASL Signbank. New Haven, CT: Haskins Lab, Yale University. https://aslsignbank.haskins.yale.edu/

Hochgesang, J.A. & K. McAuliff (2016). An initial description of the Deaf community in Haiti and Haitian Sign Language (LSH). Sign Language Studies, 16 (2), 227-294.
(Also see LSHDoP YouTube Playlist)

Hochgesang, J.A. & M. Miller. (2016). A Celebration of Dictionary of American Sign Language (1965) fifty years later. Sign Language Studies, 16 (4), 563-591.

Mental Floss. (2017, September 7). Do sign languages have accents? [video file]. Retrieved from: facebook (Julie A. Hochgesang - narrator, producer)

Occhino, C., Fisher, J., Hill, J., Hochgesang, J. A., Shaw, E., & Tamminga, M. (2021). Report on On-going Research: New Trends in ASL Variation Documentation. Sign Language Studies, 21(3).

Sanjabi, A., & A. Behmanesh, A. Guity, S. Siyavoshi, M. Watkins & J. A. Hochgesang. (2016). Zaban Eshareh Irani (ZEI) and its fingerspelling system. Sign Language Studies, 16(4), 500-534.

Figshare collections or web pages I manage (with more presentations, publications, links): ELAN, SLAAASh, ASL Signbank, DeafLing, GUDA


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002