Term Paper: Linguistic Big Bang

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Nicaraguan Sign Language, Idioma de Signos Nicaraguense (ISN) proves that human beings are born with at least some innate capacity to construct language. The sign language evolved when Nicaragua first started offering specialized public education to the country's deaf children. The children were not told to develop a language and nor did they have any cues as to how to develop syntax and grammar but those core elements of language did develop nonetheless. Moreover, the teachers at the deaf school had no formal educational training and thus could not and did not impose onto the students the rules or the vocabulary of Spanish.

Linguists are especially fascinated with ISN because the sign language offers the unique opportunity to study the genesis of language from a number of disciplinary perspectives including neuroscience. Complex nuances of language like subject-verb agreement, evolved in ISN out of nowhere, illustrating a previously unproven instinctual aspect… [END OF PREVIEW]

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