Ever since attempts were made to describe and explain normal language development, references to exceptional circumstances have been made. Variations in the conditions under which language is acquired can be regarded as natural experiments, which would not be feasible or ethical under normal circumstances. This can throw light on such questions as:
*What language input is necessary for the child to learn language?
*What is the relationship between cognition and language?
*How independent are different components of language function?
*Are there critical periods for language development?
*Can we specify necessary and sufficient conditions for language impairment? This book covers a range of exceptional circumstances including: extreme deprivation, twinship, visual and auditory impairments, autism and focal brain damage?
Written in a jargon-free style, and including a glossary of linguistic and medical terminology, the book assumes little specialist knowledge. This text is suitable for both students and practitioners in the fields of psycholinguistics, developmental and educational psychology, speech pathology, paediatrics and special education.
Table of Contents
K. Mogford, D. Bishop, Language Development in Unexceptional Circumstances. D.H. Skuse, Extreme Deprivation in Early Childhood. N. Schiff Myers, Hearing Children of Deaf Parents. F. Genesee, Bilingual Language Development in Preschool Children. K. Mogford, Language Development in Twins. S.K. Klein, I. Rapin, Intermittent Conductive Hearing Loss and Language Development. K. Mogford, Oral Language Acquisition in the Prelinguistically Deaf. U. Bellugi, K. van Hoek, D. Lillo Martin, L. O'Grady, The Acquisition of Syntax and Space in Young Deaf Signers. A. Mills, Visual Handicap. J.A. Rondal, Down's Syndrome. U. Bellugi, S. Marks, A. Bihrle, H. Sabo, Dissociation Between Language and Cognitive Functions in Williams Syndrome. W.H. Fay, Infantile Autism. D. Bishop, Language Development After Focal Brain Damage. D. Bishop, Language Development in Children with Abnormal Structure or Function of the Speech Apparatus. K. Mogford, D. Bishop, Five Questions about Language Acquisition Considered in the Light of Exceptional Circumstances. Appendix: A Non Evaluative Summary of Assessment Procedures.
Language Development in Exceptional Circumstances is an excellent review of thirteen different "experiments of nature" each exploring a particular deviation from the typical language-learning circumstances, and its effects on the development of language. [It] succeeds in presenting a great deal of potentially disparate information in a coherent and usable fashion, and should be of value to both practitioners and theoreticians in the field of language development. - Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago, Language and Speech.