Language, Cognition, and the Brain: Insights from Sign Language Research

By Karen Emmorey | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Sign Language Acquisition

A child acquiring a sign language appears to be faced with a quite different task than a child acquiring a spoken language. A completely different set of articulators is involved and the language is perceived with a different sensory system. Do the properties of sign languages affect the course and timing of language acquisition? For example, do the iconic properties of sign languages aid in their acquisition? Do the spatial properties of sign language present special challenges for the acquisition process? The studies addressing these questions have investigated Deaf and hearing children acquiring ASL as a native language from their Deaf parents. Deaf children who have hearing parents may be exposed to ASL later in childhood, and we examine the effects of such late acquisition on adult language competence and processing in chapter 6.

The general finding of many, many studies is that Deaf children of Deaf parents acquire sign language in the same way that hearing children of hearing parents acquire a spoken language: Both groups of children pass through the same developmental stages at about the same time and make the same sorts of errors (for reviews, see Bellugi, 1988; Lillo-Martin, 1999; Meier, 1991; Newport & Meier, 1985). These results suggest that the capacities that underlie language acquisition are maturationally controlled and that the psychological, linguistic, and neural mechanisms involved in language acquisition are not specific to speech or audition. In this chapter, we review the nature of language milestones and highlight domains where the study of sign language acquisition helps to unveil the mystery of our uniquely human ability to master complex linguistic systems within the first few years of life.

-169-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Language, Cognition, and the Brain: Insights from Sign Language Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 383

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.