levin395: January 2012 Archives

Deprivation of Langauge

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Imagine your beginning years of your life. Some of the most vivid memories include your parents and their love and nurturing qualities. Now imagine growing up with out this. Not only that, but not being able to speak, language deprivation. The chapter I read, Chapter 8, was about language and pretty much everything dealing with it. The thing that stood out the most though was three paragraphs about language deprivation. There was a case where a young girl named Genie was chained to a potty seat in a back bedroom most of the first 13 years of her life by her parents. She was deprived of language and any social input. When she was finally rescued she was unable to communicate and was unable to become a fluent language user. This was just a very saddening and horrible situation to read about.

However, a psychologist decided to create an experiment to look at the effects of language deprivation to rule out the many explanations that are all over cases like Genie's. Susan Goldin-Meadow decided to study deaf children of parents who did not know any sign language. They were not deprived of any nurturing of a parent and developed accordingly besides in language. She found that the children began to develop signs of their own without guidance of their parents or other, which is now called homesign.

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