Date: Tue Feb 9, 1999 12:13
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Children Learning SignWriting
On Mon, 8 Feb 1999 20:11:07 -0800 Valerie Sutton
> Are there any List members who know of such research? Is signing
learned faster than speaking?
I've read a few studies regarding acquisition of ASL. Deaf children of
Deaf parents were compared with hearing children of hearing parents to
find out the stages of acquisition for various language patterns. From
what I understand, Deaf babies do show a difference in ability to express
their language at an earlier age. Most Deaf of Deaf babies show one
sign utterances begin around the age of six months whereas hearing babies
of hearing parents show a one word sutterance at the age of 12 months.
One of the researchers in first language acquisition is Dr. Richard Meier
at the University of Texas in Austin. He will be coming to Dallas next
week, on Friday Feb. 19th for a workshop. I plan to attend and
hopefully, I'll learn of new research in this area.
It's been several years since I've read these studies, but was able to
find the articles and bibliographies of the case studies. They are
5 articles from the book,
Volterra, v. & Erting, C. (Eds.) (1994), FROM GESTURE TO LANGUAGE IN
HEARING AND DEAF CHILDREN. Part ll, Chapters 8,9,10,11, and 12 (pp.
Newport, E. & Meier, R. (1985). The acquisition of American Sign
Language. In THE CROSS-LINGUISTIC STUDY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, vol. 1,
THE DATA, Ed, by D. Sllobin, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoicates,
Meier, R. & Newport, E. (1993). Out of the hands of babes: On a possible
sing advantage in language acquisition. LANGUAGE, 66, pp. 1-23.
Meier, R. (1991). Language acquisition by deaf children. AMERICAN
SCIENTIST, 79, pp.60-70.
Bellugi, U, et al (1993), The acauisition of syntax and space in young
children. In Bishop, D. & Mogford, K. (Eds) LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN
EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
Also, you may try contacting the Salk Institute for further studies or
abstracts regarding the acquisition of ASL. I'm sure they'll have a
better list than I gave you.
Hope this helps!