Professor Dany Adone

University Professorial Fellow

Professor Dany Adone is currently the Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Head of the Department of English I at the University of Cologne, Germany. She also holds the Chair of Applied English Linguistics and is the Director of the Australian Studies Program (Linguistics) in the English Department. Since 2013 Prof. Adone is a University Professorial Fellow affiliated with the Northern Institute/CDU.  She is also a Honorary Professor at the University of Seychelles.

She has worked in and with several countries including Mauritius, the Seychelles, Australia, Jamaica and the Solomon Islands on several projects, some of which are concerned with the development of the Indigenous sign languages. In Australia, Professor Adone is currently working on three community-driven projects, two in the Northern Territory and one in Western Australia. 

She has published several books and articles on the L1 Acquisition of Creole languages, and Sign Languages. Professor Adone and Dr. E. Maypilama have pioneered the publication of the first grammar of Yolŋu Sign Language together with a team of Yolŋu researchers. The Yolŋu communities involved in the project have asked to continue this work through the Northern Institute. Together with Dr. E. Maypilama she organised a workshop on Indigenous Sign Languages in 2013 hosted by the Northern Institute, CDU.

Her fields of expertise include:

  • Indigenous Sign Languages of Australia 
  • Language Contact
  • Creole Languages
  • First Language Acquisition

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Publications & Resources


Adone, D., Gabel, A., & Brück, M. (2016). Linguistic Manual for Teachers. University of Cologne Press.

Adone, M.C.D., & Maypilama, E.L. (2014). A Grammar Sketch of Yolŋu Sign Language. München: LINCOM.

Adone, D. (2012). The Acquisition of Creole Languages. How Children Surpass their Input. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Adone, D., & Gebert, A. (2006). A dictionary and grammar for Mauritian Sign Language. Volume 1. Editions Le Printemps Ltée, Vacoas, République de Maurice.

Adone, D. (ed.) (2003). Recent development in Creole Studies. VII/234 S. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Adone, D. (1994). The Acquisition of Mauritian Creole. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Adone, D., & Plag, I. (eds.) (1994). Creolization and language change. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Book Chapters

Adone, D. (2012). Language Emergence and Creolisation. In R. Pfau, M. Steinbach & B. Woll (eds.), Sign Language. An International Handbook (pp. 862-888). Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.

Adone, D., Bauer, A., Cumberbatch, K., & Maypilama, E.L. (2012). Colour Signs in Two Indigenous Sign Languages. In U. Zeshan & C. de Vos (eds.), Sign languages in Village Communities: anthropological and linguistic insights (pp. 53-86). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter & Ishara Press.

Maypilama, E.L., & Adone, D. (2012). Yolŋu Sign Language: A sociolinguistic profile. In U. Zeshan & C. de Vos (eds.), Sign languages in Village Communities: anthropological and linguisitic insights (pp. 401-404). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter & Ishara Press.

Rah, A., & Adone, D. (2011). "L2 Learners' Off-line and On-line Processing of Ambiguous Relative Clauses". In I. Laversuch & R. Einmahl (eds.), Multiple language, variation, variety and use (pp. 127-140). Aachen: Shaker.

Adone, D. (2003). Restricted Verb Movement in Ngukurr Kriol. In D. Adone (ed.), Recent Development in Creole studies (pp. S.91). Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Adone, D., & Vainikka. A. (1999). Acquisition of Wh-Questions in Mauritian Creole. In M. DeGraff (ed.), Language Creation and Language Change: Creolization, Diachrony and Development (pp. 75-94). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Adone, D. (1994). Creolization and language change in Mauritian Creole. In D. Adone & I. Plag (eds.), Creolization and Language change (pp. 23-43). Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Adone, D. (1994) Ti, fin, and pe in Mauritian Child Language. In D. Véronique (ed.), Creolisation et acquisition des langues [Creolization and language acquisition] (S.l19-136). Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence.

Adone, D. (1990). The Acquisition of TMA Markers in Mauritian Creole. In M. Rothweiler (ed.) Spracherwerb und Grammatik: Linguistische Untersuchungen zum Erwerb von Syntax und Morphologie [Language acquisition and grammar: Linguistic studies on the acquisition of syntax and morphology], Sonderheft 3/1990 (pp. 87-104). Springer VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Journal Articles

Adone, M.C.D., & Maypilama, E.L. (2015). The Sociolinguistics of Alternate Sign Languages of Arnhem Land. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Indigenous Sign Languages], 16, 14-25. doi: 10.18793/LCJ2015.16.02.

Amstrong, A., Newry, G., Ningarmara, I., Boomi, R., Boombi, R., Simon, S., Paddy, J., Newry, D., Bilminga, J., & Adone, D. (2015). Searching for Sign Languages in the Kimberly Region. On Miriwoong Sign Language. Cologne: University of Cologne Press.

Adone, D. (2015). Some new Insights into the Acquisition of Creole Languages. Island Studies, 2, 6-11.

Adone, M.C.D. (2014). Indigenous sign languages of Arnhem Land. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 1, 132-136.

Adone, M.C.D., & Maypilama, E.L. (2014). Bimodal bilingualism in Arnhem land. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 1(2), 101-106.

Maypilama, E.L., & Adone, D. (2013). Yolŋu Sign Language: An undocumented language of Arnhem Land. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 13, 37-44. doi: 10.18793/LCJ2013.13.05.

Rah, A., & Adone, D. (2010). Processing of the reduced relative clause versus main verb ambiguity in L2 learners at different proficiency levelsStudies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 79-109.

Cooke, M., & Adone, D. (1994). Yolgnu Signing - Gestures or Language? Centre for Australian Language and Linguistics, 1-15.

Adone, D. (1993). ‘pu’ dans le créole mauricien: Une étude d'acquisition de langue première ['able' in Mauritian Creole : A study of first language acquisition]. In Études Créoles, 16(1), 100-107.

Conference Proceedings & Papers

Adone, D. (2015). Some new Insights into the Acquisition of Creole Languages. Island Studies Indian Ocean/Ocean Indien: Proceedings of the 2014 International Colloquium on Creole Language and Didactics in the Indian Ocean region, 2, 6-11.

Rah, A. & Adone, D. (2010). L2 learners' processing of PP attachment ambiguities - A production study. In Mathew T. Prior, Y Watanabe & S-K Lee (Eds). Selected proceedings of the 2008 second Language Research Forum. (pp. 139-149). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings project.  

Limbach, M. & Adone, D. (2010). Language Acquisition of Recursive Possessives in English. In: K. Franich, K.M. Iserman & L.L. Keil (Eds). BUCLD 34. Proceedings of the 34th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. (pp. 281-290). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Pillunat, A and Adone, D. (2009). Word Recognition in German Primary School Children with English as a Second Language: Evidence for Positive Transfer? In: J. Chandlee, M. Franchini, S. Lord & M. Rheiner (Eds.), BUCLD 33: Proceedings of the 33rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (online supplement).

Adone, D. (2008) Fieldwork Research: A Matter of Taking and Giving. In: C.M. Riehl & A. Rothe (Eds.), Was ist linguistische Evidenz? Kolloquium des "Zentrums Sprachenvielfalt und Mehrsprachigkeit" [What is linguistic evidence? Colloquium of the Centre of Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism], November 2006. (pp. 109-124). Aachen: Shaker Verlag,

Adone, D. (2005) Acquisition without a Language Model: The Case of Mauritian Home Sign. In: A. Brugos, M. Clark-Cotton & S. Ha (eds.), BUCLD 29: Proceedings of the 29th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. (pp. 12-23). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Research Reports

Adone, D. (1992). For a DP analysis in Creoles. Bericht Nr. 17, GrK Kognitionswissenschaft-Schriften. Oktober 1992.

Professor Dany Adone


T: +49-(0)221 470 2829

University of Cologne