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Areas of Study

Course Overview

This course introduces students to the acquisition of a native language by young children (L1 acquisition) and acquisition of a second language after childhood (L2 acquisition), with a focus on sign languages. The first part of the course covers the important milestones of normal L1 development in phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics for both spoken and signed languages. The course also explores how delays in exposure affect the acquisition process, related to the main topics of the second part of the course: critical period effects and L2 acquisition. Readings and discussion throughout the course will reflect the perspective that acquisition studies on a broad variety of languages, both signed and spoken, are crucial for developing accurate theories of language structure and use. Application of concepts from lectures and discussion is developed through student analysis of L1 and L2 data.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 301, 302; for MASLED GRAD students: B or above in ASL 724 or permission of the instructor and MASLED program coordinator; for other GRAD students, permission of the instructor.

Program: Linguistics

Credit: 3

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