Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Piotr Tomaszewski

Dr. Piotr Tomaszewski is a visiting Fulbright scholar in our department. He is researching the similarities and differences between ASL and PJM (Polish Sign Language) to determine linguistic universals.

Dr. Tomaszweski was born in 1971 in Warsaw, Poland. He earned a master’s degree in deaf education at the Academy of Special Education in 1997 and then started working at Institute of the Deaf in Warsaw, where he educated deaf children bilingually for 10 years. Dr. Tomaszewski received his Ph.D. in Psychology (in field of psycholinguistics) in 2004 from the Institute of Psychology of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), Warsaw. His dissertation concerned formal and functional analysis of linguistic and non-verbal behavior of deaf children as homesigners. Since 2004, he has been an Assistant Professor and scientist at the University of Warsaw, in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Tomaszewski is the author of 2 books, 20 journal articles and 13 book chapters.

Dr. Piotr Tomaszewski’s research focuses on PJM and other sign languages (e.g. ASL). In his research he conducts linguistics analyses of PJM, particularly its phonology, morphology and syntax. He is interested in linguistic universals through comparison between spoken languages and signed languages, as well as the similarities and differences among sign languages themselves. His research interests also include how gestures become signs in peer-group of homesigners, language evolution, the linguistic functions of facial expression in sign language, role of bilingual discourse in language development in deaf children and their acquisition of sign language. He is also interested in sign language structure from a cognitive linguistics perspective.

In 2010 he published book Visual Phonology of Polish Sign Language, which presents his research on the meaningless units that signs are made of and their organization, phonological processes, syllable structure and prosody in PJM.

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