3/31: Ann Senghas on Nicaraguan Sign Language

Co-organizers Harrison White and Corinne Kirchner are pleased to announce the latest Workshop on Meaning: Language and Socio-cultural Processes.

Ann Senghas, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Barnard College, New York:

“Social Scaffolding for Language Genesis:

Why Nicaraguan Sign Language Emerged When, Where and How it Did”

***

Nicaraguan sign language was spontaneously developed by deaf children in a number of schools in western Nicaragua in the 1970s and 1980s. With the opening of the first school for the deaf, children who had previously relied upon home signs – individualized signing systems, differing from family to family – were brought together without a common language with which to communicate. Over a very short period of time, the children developed their own system of signs. Since its creation, the system has become more and more complex with every cohort of schoolchildren, and is now considered a full-fledged language. It offers linguists an exciting opportunity to study a language in the process of being born. Dr. Senghas will speak about the genesis of Nicaraguan sign language and the social underpinnings of its development.

Columbia University

School of International and Public Affairs – Room 707

420 West 118th street (east side of Amsterdam Avenue.), New York City

Wednesday March 31, 2010

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served!

Please RSVP to: Carmen Morillo – cm2714@columbia.edu

For more information, visit the ISERP website here.

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4 Responses

  1. Excuse me really superb site!! Man .. I will take the rss feeds

  2. “No scientific body can create a language as rich and flexible as can a six-year-old child… – I cannot recall the exact quotation of A.Senghas, which made me comprehend why Esperanto, the only conlang created by a child, has surpassed hundreds of projects by erudite grownups

  3. “No scientific body can create a language as rich and flexible as can a six-year-old child… – I cannot recall the exact quotation of A.Senghas, which made me comprehend why Esperanto, the only conlang created by a child, has surpassed hundreds of projects by erudite grownups.

  4. Silence and no more commence…Poor poor Robinson Crusoe on this planet of apes…

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