The development of language-like communication without a language model

Science  22 Jul 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4301, pp. 401-403
DOI: 10.1126/science.877567


Deaf children who are unable to acquire oral language naturally and who are not exposed to a standard manual language can spontaneously develop a structured sign system that has many of the properties of natural spoken language. This communication system appears to be largely the invention of the child himself rather than of the caretakers.