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Deaf around the WorldThe Impact of Language$
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Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 November 2019

A Critical Period for the Acquisition of a Theory of Mind?

A Critical Period for the Acquisition of a Theory of Mind?

Clues from Homesigners

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter 5 Response A Critical Period for the Acquisition of a Theory of Mind?
Source:
Deaf around the World
Author(s):

Cyril Courtin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.003.0010

This chapter fills in the French situation and complements chapter 5’s questioning about the linguistic achievement of homesigners by asking whether homesigns are sufficient to help the child develop a mature cognition. Several studies on theory of mind in deaf children and adults suggest that language-communication (not just gestural communication) is a critical variable in proper cognitive development. Additionally, the age of ten appears to be a significant time — an earlier critical period than Wood’s studies found. These findings, while not constant, are relatively persistent, regardless of whether children eventually receive hearing aids or cochlear implants (where no difference between the two types of aids is noted).

Keywords:   sign language linguistics, homesigns, language acquisition, Theory of Mind, French Sign Language, cognitive development, hearing aids, cochlear implants

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