Gestural communication in deaf children: noneffect of parental input on language development

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Science  22 Jul 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4608, pp. 372-374
DOI: 10.1126/science.6867713


Young deaf children who were unable to acquire oral language naturally and who had not been exposed to a conventional manual language were found to use spontaneously a gesture system that has some of the structural characteristics of early child language. The structural aspects of this gesture system appeared to be neither modeled for the child by the gestures of an adult nor shaped by the responses of an adult. These findings suggest that the child may contribute to structural aspects of the system.

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