Signposts to the Essence of Language

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Science  17 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5691, pp. 1720-1721
DOI: 10.1126/science.1102894

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Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), developed by deaf children in Managua over the past 35 years, has provided unprecedented insights into the innateness of language. In his Perspective, Siegal discusses the latest study of three age groups of NSL signers ( Senghas et al.), which reveals that segmentation and sequencing, considered core properties of all languages, are clearly present in NSL.