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By Brenda Schick, Marc Marschark, Patricia Elizabeth Spencer

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Additional info for Advances in the Sign Language Development of Deaf Children (Perspectives on Deafness)

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P. (1880). The natural method. American Annals of the Deaf, 25, 212–217. , & Erting, C. J. ). (1990). From gesture to language in hearing and deaf children. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. , & Ladd, P. (2003). Deaf communities. In M. Marschark & P. E. ), Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education (pp. 151–163). New York: Oxford University Press. Yoshinaga-Itano, C. (in press). Early identification, communication modality, and the development of speech and spoken language skills: Patterns and considerations.

If we allow ourselves to treat languages like ASL as head marked and topic prominent, we free ourselves of the syntactic machinery based on dependent-marked and subject-prominent languages such as English.

For example, early lexical items for one Mayan child included appropriate uses of we’, ‘‘eat tortillas,’’ versus lo’, ‘‘eat soft things’’; pet, ‘‘carry in arms,’’ versus tzak, ‘‘grasp in hand,’’ and so forth. , 2003). Explanations have been proposed on the basis of factors of iconicity and gestures that simulate motor activities. However, although those mimetic factors may well play a role, verb specificity is apparently accessible to beginning learners of spoken languages as well. Brown suggests that children develop expectations about the level of semantic granularity that is encoded in lexical items in their language, that is, a particular sort of verb-learning bias arises as the result of learning more and more verbs in a language.

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