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Children acquire language without instruction as long as they are regularly and meaningfully engaged with an accessible human language. Today, 80% of children born deaf in the developed world are implanted with cochlear devices that allow some of them access to sound in their early years, which helps them to develop speech. However, because of brain(More)
This report contains a linguistic description of a language created spontaneously without any apparent external influence in a stable existing community. We describe the syntactic structure of Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language, a language that has arisen in the last 70 years in an isolated endogamous community with a high incidence of nonsyndromic,(More)
Speech sounds within a linguistic system are both categorical and combinatorial and there are constraints on how elements can be recombined. To investigate the origins of this combina-torial structure, we conducted an iterated learning experiment with human participants, studying the transmission of an artificial system of sounds. In this study,(More)
Now the Egyptians, before the reign of their king Psammetichus, believed themselves to be the most ancient of mankind. Since Psammetichus, however, made an attempt to discover who were actually the primitive race, they have been of opinion that while they surpass all other nations, the Phrygians surpass them in antiquity. This king, finding it impossible to(More)
The paper examines the role that iconicity plays in the structuring of grammars. Two main points are argued for: (a) Grammar does not necessarily suppress iconicity; rather, iconicity and grammar can enjoy a congenial relation in that iconicity can play an active role in the structuring of grammars. (b) Iconicity is not monolithic. There are different types(More)
Syntax and prosody are both central ingredients in human language, and they are clearly closely related. By imposing rhythmic structure on the language stream, prosody signals the division of our utterances into interpretable pieces or constituents. Intonation is superimposed on these rhythmic constituents, in part to convey semantic or pragmatic(More)
10.1 The forbidden experiment Language and culture separate humans from all other species. No human group lacks either, which must mean that both are deeply seated in human nature. What are the essential ingredients of these two most human of attributes? Our central task as linguists is to try to answer this question for language. One strategy for tackling(More)
We argue for the existence of a state constitutional legal right to language. Our purpose here is to develop a legal framework for protecting the civil rights of the deaf child, with the ultimate goal of calling for legislation that requires all levels of government to fund programs for deaf children and their families to learn a fully accessible language:(More)
Cochlear implants (CI) have demonstrated success in improving young deaf children's speech and low-level speech awareness across a range of auditory functions, but this success is highly variable, and how this success correlates to high-level language development is even more variable. Prevalence on the success rate of CI as an outcome for language(More)