posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 08:56 PM
The following information is not new, but also not widely known, and I thought I'd share with the ATS community. Linguists discovered a fascinating
case study in the field of language acquisition at a school for deaf children in Nicaragua, which has added new insight into the nature vs. nurture
Due in part to the brutal Somoza dictatorship, and the subsequent Nicaraguan Revolution, there was no unified deaf community or language in Nicaragua
prior to the late 1970s. Deaf children were mostly taught at home, and had developed crude language in order to communicate with friends and family.
Upon the establishment of a school for the deaf in 1977, and a larger institute founded in 1980, deaf children were finally given the opportunity to
learn a unified mode of communication.
To the teachers amazement, the children were soon communicating amongst themselves in ways that the instructors couldn't understand. They contacted a
team of linguists who found that the younger children had taken the crude signs of the adolescent students and formed a complex language that
comprises Nicaraguan Sign Language as it is known today. Interestingly enough, researchers found that the ability to invent a new manifold language
subsided as the children grew older!
Read more about it here:
I find this story to be pretty astonishing. The signs that these children invented were rich and creative and give a lovely glimpse into a child's
mind. For example, the sign for New York is taking an index finger and placing it on one side, the middle and the other side of one's head, while the
other hand holds an invisible torch. So clever! What do you guys think?
edit on 19-9-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)