Bringing Back the Child: Language Development after Extreme Deprivation

Bringing Back the Child: Language Development after Extreme Deprivation

by Lisa J Brown, Peter E Jones

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Overview

Bringing Back the Child: Language Development after Extreme Deprivation by Lisa J Brown, Peter E Jones

This book presents a unique, multi-faceted investigation of the language abilities of three older adopted Romanian orphans who experienced extreme deprivation in their early years. Serena, Gabrielle and Ingrid were aged 7 years, 6 years and nearly 4 years, respectively, when rescued by UK families from the orphanages where they were placed at or around their birth. In these institutions, an absence of social and psychological stimulation, nutritious food and physical exercise had left them completely dependent on care staff for their most basic needs, and effectively without language. The book presents the findings of a two year research study of the competencies in language, nonverbal cognition and social and communicative behaviour which the girls acquired over several years in their new homes, and discusses the implications of their linguistic progress for the Critical Period Hypothesis and modularity. Detailed qualitative analysis of the girls' language in everyday conversation is combined with quantitative analysis of developmental progress and structural complexity and with the results of standardized tests. The authors argue that the girls' progress in language defies the predictions of current Critical Period models and offers no evidence of modular dissociations between language and other cognitive domains. These findings are considered in relation to other research on language development in internationally adopted children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443859721
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Pages: 275
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lisa Brown is a Chartered Research Psychologist (CPsychol) and a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Lisa's background is in psychology, human communication sciences and mixed methods research. Lisa obtained her first degree at Sheffield Hallam University and then went to on to complete a postgraduate degree in Psychology with the Open University, obtaining a Distinction. Lisa completed her PhD in the Neuropsychology of Language at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. She has worked as a professional researcher on a number of multidisciplinary projects, including biomedical research and environmental education. Lisa's expertise lies in applied psychology; applied linguistics; models of clinical psychology and neuropsychology; developmental approaches to assessment and intervention in clinical practice; psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics; community psychology; and qualitative methodology. Peter Jones is Principal Lecturer in Communication Studies in the Department of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University. His research interests include theories of language and communication, the role of language in practical activity and the cultural-historical school of Lev Vygotsky. His recent publications include "Activity, Activity Theory and the Marxian Legacy" in Marxism and Education: Renewing the Dialogue, Pedagogy and Culture, and "Bernstein's "codes" and the linguistics of "deficit"" in Language and Education 27 (2).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements x

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xii

Transcription Conventions for Conversational Data xiii

Foreword xiv

Bringing Back the Child: Introduction 1

1 Aims and scope of the book

2 Background to the research

3 Conduct of the research

4 Content of the book

Chapter 1 Language Development after Extreme Global Deprivation 6

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Development after social deprivation

1.3 Theoretical perspectives on language acquisition

1.4 Language development after extreme global deprivation: Conclusion and research questions

Chapter 2 Beginnings: Life Before and Alter Adoption 39

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Romanian state orphanage system

2.3 Life in the orphanages

2.4 Life after adoption

2.5 Beginnings: conclusion

Chapter 3 Life in Conversation: Talk in Everyday Settings 71

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Conversations

3.3 Life in conversation: conclusion

Chapter 4 Putting Language to the Test 111

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Use of standardized tests

4.3 Behaviour during tests

4.4 Testing procedure

4.5 Within-language "dissociations"

4.6 Putting language to the test: conclusion

Chapter 5 Words and Word Formation: The Acquisition of Morphology 135

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Acquisition of morphology

5.3 Morphosyntactic idiosyncracies

5.4 Over-regularization

5.5 Over-regularization and innateness

5.6 The acquisition of morphology: conclusions

Chapter 6 Speaking in Sentences: The Acquisition of Syntax 160

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Complex sentences in spontaneous speech

6.3 More advanced grammatical constructions

6.4 Clause types in subordinate clauses

6.5 Conjunctive adverbs

6.6 Constituent structure analysis (parsing)

6.7 Syntactic competence and metalinguistic awareness

6.8 Speaking in sentences: conclusion

Chapter 7 Thinking without Words: Putting Nonverbal Cognition to the Test 195

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Background

7.3 Testing procedure

7.4 Performance on tests of nonverbal cognition

7.5 Comparisons with Williams syndrome children

7.6 Comparisons with younger children

7.7 Tests of language and nonverbal cognition

7.8 Putting nonverbal cognition to the test: discussion and conclusion

Chapter 8 Bringing Back the Child: Conclusions and Implications 216

8.1 Research questions

8.2 Answers to research questions

8.3 Overview and implications for future research

Bibliography 231

Index of Names 252

Subject Index 255

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