Aug 19, 2010
New Words, New World
In the late 1970s, a new language was born. And Ann Senghas, Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard, has spent the last 30 years helping to decode it. In 1978, 50 deaf children entered a newly formed school--a school in which the teachers (who didn't sign) taught in Spanish. No one knows exactly how it happened, but in the next few years--on school buses and in the playground--these kids invented a set of common words and grammar that opened up a whole new way of communicating, and even thinking.