ERIC Number: ED191272
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Preverbal Communication and Early Language Development in Blind Children. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 17.
Literature on the sighted child suggests that blind children might be delayed in language acquisition and/or restricted in the semantic content of their utterances and in the communicative intentions they express. This study questions the use of guidelines appropriate for monitoring sighted children in the study of language development in blind children. Three legally blind children were audio- and video-recorded in interaction with their parents at regular intervals through a large part of the preverbal period and the one-word stage to the emergence of the first word combinations, at 20 months. In addition, one child was recorded until she was 2 years 3 months old. The research methods included a descriptive analysis of the development of parent-child communication. Similarities and differences in the overall course of development between the subjects and sighted children were noted. One difference was that each blind child showed an unusually early mastery of basic procedures for sustaining dialogue; this step paved the way for an early acquisition of simple procedures for allocating turns in conversation. The developments observed in these children indicate that blind children find another "way into" language and suggest that the possibility for adaptation is intrinsic to the system itself. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.