Advances in the Sign Language Development of Deaf Children

By Brenda Schick; Marc Marschark et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Lexical Development of Deaf
Children Acquiring
Signed Languages

Diane Anderson

Over the past few years, most states in the United States have passed laws requiring newborn hearing screenings. With these screenings, many deaf children are now being identified early, typically before 6 months of age, and receiving necessary language intervention services well before their first birthdays. While many of our previous reports on the lexical acquisition of deaf children have focused on case studies and children older than 3 years, we are now in a unique position to more thoroughly evaluate young deaf children's sign language acquisition. In this chapter, I review our current understanding of the acquisition of the lexicon in American Sign Language (ASL) and manually coded English (MCE). Specifically, the acquisition of first signs, negation, and whquestions are discussed along with vocabulary size and its early development. Where possible, the development of signed languages is considered in light of specific variables such as degree of hearing loss, parental hearing status, and age of initial exposure to a signed language that likely affect sign language acquisition.


Deafness is defined as a hearing loss that is so severe that the person, with or without amplification, is limited in processing linguistic information through hearing. Congenital hearing loss occurs in about 1–3 infants per 1,000 born in the United States. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2004), more than 30 children will be born deaf in the United States every day. Of these births, only


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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

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

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Advances in the Sign Language Development of Deaf Children


Text size Smaller Larger
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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 395

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?