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Language learning with restricted input: Case studies of two hearing children of deaf parents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Jacqueline Sachs*
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
Barbara Bard
Affiliation:
Central Connecticut State College
Marie L. Johnson
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
*
Jacqueline Sachs, U-85, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268

Abstract

Two hearing children of deaf parents (initially 3;9 and 1;8) had been cared for almost exclusively by their mother, who did not speak or sign to them. Though the older child had heard language from TV and briefly at nursery school, his speech was below age level and structurally idiosyncratic. Intervention led to improvement in his expressive abilities, and by 4;2 the deviant utterance patterns had disappeared. In later years, his spontaneous speech and school performance were normal, though language testing revealed some weak areas. The younger child initially used no speech, but acquired language normally after intervention, with his brother as model. Implications for understanding the role of linguistic input in language development are discussed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1981

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