|Born||March 19, 1951|
|Other names||Ceil Kovac|
|Occupation||Professor of Linguistics|
|Known for||Sign language linguistics, sociolinguistic variation in American Sign Language|
|Thesis||Children's acquisition of variable features (1980)|
|Sub-discipline||Sociolinguistics, Linguistic variation, Sign language|
Ceil Lucas (born March 19, 1951) is an American linguist. Lucas is a professor emerita of Gallaudet University. Lucas was a professor in the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University until her retirement in 2014. Lucas is currently the editor of Sign Language Studies at Gallaudet University Press, a position she's held since 2009.
Lucas was born in the United States but raised from ages five through twenty-one in Guatemala City and in Rome, Italy. Lucas studied at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and received her BA in French and art history. Later, she earned her M.S. and PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University.
In 1973, Lucas started teaching Italian and continues to do so.
Lucas began teaching at Gallaudet University in 1981 and, alongside Robert Johnson and Scott Liddell, was one of the inaugural faculty to teach in the university's new linguistics graduate program.
During her tenure at Gallaudet, Lucas served as principal investigator on two research projects in the field of sign language linguistics. The first of these was the large-scale project Sociolinguistic Variation In ASL (funded by the National Science Foundation Grant Numbers: SBR 9310116, SBR 9709522). The results of this study are summarized in the book Sociolinguistic Variation in American Sign Language (2001). (Results of its pilot study are discussed in the introductory chapter of Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities (1995).) The second project became titled The History and Structure of Black ASL (funded by The Spencer Foundation and NSF, Grant Numbers: BCS-0813736, DRL-0936085). The results of this study are summarized in the book The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure (2011).
Lucas also holds an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.