Patterns and Effects of Language Input to Deaf Infants and Toddlers From Deaf and Hearing Mothers
This chapter addresses characteristics of input that are especially facilitative of the development of a signed visual-gestural language. It begins by considering some key beneficial characteristics of language addressed to young children learning a spoken language, and then explores similarities and differences between these characteristics and those which influence early sign development. It describes how deaf mothers adapt their signing to benefit young deaf children who are just beginning to learn sign, and considers similarities and differences in the sign adaptations of deaf mothers who are fluent signers and hearing mothers who are new signers. The last part of the chapter focuses on children’s emerging sign communication and how that relates to sign input and patterns of shared attention which operate within mother-child dyads.
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