school pupil phase. There is a long developmental path between these two phases, and we hope that these spotlights on the anchor points will stimulate readers to begin to trace out the routes that Deaf children follow from one to the other. Along the way, there are many critical landmarks-- achievements of morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic mastery--all in the framework of the manual-visual modality and the special typological characteristics of sign languages. With regard to typology, it is clear that sign languages as a group have far more in common than one would expect of a collection of languages drawn from around the world. Returning to the theme of modality, it seems reasonable to expect that sign languages fall into a specific typological category ( Slobin & Hoiting, 1994). Only by understanding the ontogenetic development and linguistic typology of sign languages, can we evaluate the intriguing theoretical claims about the human language capacity raised here: the roles of modality and species- universal biological factors, the roles of signing in the acquisition of literacy, and the roles of society and culture in providing the frameworks for these human achievements. We are grateful to the editors and authors for lighting the way in this search for language acquisition by eye.
Klima E. S., & Bellugi U. ( 1979). The signs of language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Slobin D. I., & Hoiting N. ( 1994). Reference to movement in spoken and signed languages: Typological considerations. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics society (pp. 487-505). Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Language Acquisition by Eye. Contributors: Charlene Chamberlain - Editor, Jill P. Morford - Editor, Rachel I. Mayberry - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2000. Page number: xvii.
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