2. Foundations of Communication (co-ordinator: Morgan)

In this strand we looking at how language development and language use is multi-modal, involving combinations of signs, gestures and words. We are specifically investigating how young children understand the iconicity present in signs and how this influences language development. We will be using eye-tracking technology in this study. We are also studying cases of language isolation where deaf individuals come to the UK with limited or no previous sign language experience to explore how their communication changes as they enter the British Deaf community. These studies will help us understand how early language experience shapes cognitive and linguistic functions in deaf individuals. In a separate project we will begin to investigate by means of brain imaging how knowing more than one spoken or signed language impacts on brain structure.

Researchers involved: Gary Morgan, Mairead MacSweeney, Robin Thompson, Pamela Perniss, Rachel England

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