University of Edinburgh

How do deaf children develop sign language?


Baker, Anne & Woll, Bencie (eds)
Sign language acquisition
John Benjamins, 2008
ISBN 9789027222442
Articles of research into sign language acquisition covering the basics of doing this research including the use of assessment tools, problems of transcription, analysing narratives and carrying out interaction studies.

Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Resilience of language: what gesture creation in deaf children can tell us about how all children learn language
Psychology Press, 2003
ISBN 1841690260
Looks at the way in which deaf children who have not been exposed to formal sign language develop methods of communicating using gesture. Series: Essays in Developmental Psychology

Kyle, J G
Sign questions in school
Centre for Deaf Studies, University of Bristol, 1994
ISBN 0124580459
A study to describe the developmental pattern of BSL acquisition of deaf schoolchildren aged 4-11. Project report to ESRC.

Schick, Brenda; Marschark, Marc; Spencer, Patricia Elizabeth (Eds)
Advances in the sign language development of deaf children
Oxford University, 2006
ISBN 0195180941
Series: Perspectives on Deafness Academic papers on the acquisition of sign language in deaf children.


Brennan, Mary
Challenging linguistic exclusion in deaf education
Deaf Worlds
July 1999, Vol 15 (1), p2-10
Looks at factors which influence the success or failure of deaf children to acquire language and the subsequent effect on the child's educational achievements.

Byrne-Dunne, Deirdre
Language acquisition of a deaf child in Ireland
Deaf Worlds
2005, Vol 21 (2), pS104-S118
A deaf mother of a deaf child who is also now a linguist relates her experience of her child's early language acquisition (first 3 years.)

de Beuzeville, Louise
Acquisition of classifier signs in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) by Deaf children from Deaf families: a preliminary analysis
Deaf Worlds
2004, Vol 20 (2), p120-140
A study of the acquisition of sign language in deaf children from deaf families, focusing on classifier signs.

Giezen, Marcel R; Baker, Anne E; Escudero, Paola
Relationships between spoken word and sign processing in children with cochlear implants
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Jan 2014, Vol 19 (1), p107-125
A study of the impact of learning both spoken language and sign language for children with cochlear implants.

Kyle, Jim
Living and learning bilingually: deaf experiences and possibilities
Deaf Worlds
Vol 21 (3), p73-90
Describes how early language choices and educational policies affect the lifestyles of deaf people.

Martin, Amber Joy & Sera, Maria D
Acquisition of spatial constructions in American Sign Language and English
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Fall 2006, Vol 11 (4), p391-402
Looks at how children learn elements of ASL and of English regarding spatial language (eg, front, behind, left, right, towards, away, above & below)

Rinaldi, Pasquale ... [et al]
Sign vocabulary in deaf toddlers exposed to sign language since birth
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
July 2014, Vol 19 (3), p303-318
Looks at the breadth of language attained by deaf children exposed to sign from birth and compares with hearing/speaking peers.

Siple, Patricia; Akamatsu, C Tane; Loew, Ruth C
Acquisition of American Sign Language by fraternal twins: a case study
International Journal of Sign Linguistics
1990, Vol 1 (1), p3-13
A study of twins born to deaf parents whose primary language is ASL. The children are studied as they learn ASL from their parents. One child has been identified as profoundly deaf the other is hearing.

Tolar, Tammy; Lederberg, Amy R; Gokhale, Sonali; Tomasello, Michael
Development of the ability to recognize the meaning of iconic signs
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Spring 2008, Vol 13 (2), p225-240
The researchers assessed children's ability to correctly interpret iconic sign language. Findings suggest that below 3 years old most children have difficulties with iconicity but that this develops during the preschool years.