New paper in Frontiers in Communication: Language Use in Deaf Children With Early-Signing Versus Late-Signing Deaf Parents by Beyza Sümer & Asli Özyürek

Previous research has shown that spatial language is sensitive to the effects of delayed language exposure. Previous studies have shown that locative encodings of late-signing deaf adults varied from those of early-signing deaf adults in the preferred types of linguistic forms. In this study, Beyza Sümer & Asli Özyürek investigated how TID (Turkish Sign Language) productions of deaf children with late-signing deaf parents compared to those from deaf children with early-signing deaf parents. Authors analyzed locative encodings elicited from these two groups of deaf children for the use of different linguistic forms and the types of classifier handshapes. Findings show differences between two groups of children in their preferences of using different linguistic forms in their locative encodings in ways parallel to the differences in early and late signing adults as reported in previous research. However, such difference was not observed for the use of classifier handshapes. These findings have implications for expanding current knowledge on to what extent variation in language input (i.e., from early vs. late deaf signers) is reflected in children’s productions as well as the role of linguistic input on language development in general.

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