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Selected linguistic skills in young deaf children Leslie, Perry Thorold

Abstract

This investigation examined the performances of forty deaf children on tasks involving singular and plural simple-active-declarative and corresponding yes/no statements. The task items used be as Aux in both past and non-past tenses. The forty subjects were grouped, according to age, into four groups of ten representing six, seven, eight, and nine year olds. A model, based on transformational-generative grammar theories, was developed to enable qualitative analysis of the responses. Analysis of the linguistic performance demonstrated that the young deaf children were rule governed in responses to the tasks. Many of the linguistic performances examined, were found to parallel development of linguistic performances of very young hearing children. Analysis of the data demonstrated that 9 year old deaf children performed significantly better than 6 year old deaf children on the task items. The task battery included comprehension and production task items. The production-generation items were significantly more difficult than the production-completion items. Young deaf children performed significantly better on singular statement items than they did on plural statement items. The implications of the study were explored and a resulting delineation of language teaching techniques was recommended for future research.

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