A Critical Period for the Acquisition of a Theory of Mind?

Cyril Courtin

in Deaf around the World

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732548
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866359 | DOI:
A Critical Period for the Acquisition of a Theory of Mind?

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This chapter fills in the French situation and complements chapter 5’s questioning about the linguistic achievement of homesigners by asking whether homesigns are sufficient to help the child develop a mature cognition. Several studies on theory of mind in deaf children and adults suggest that language-communication (not just gestural communication) is a critical variable in proper cognitive development. Additionally, the age of ten appears to be a significant time — an earlier critical period than Wood’s studies found. These findings, while not constant, are relatively persistent, regardless of whether children eventually receive hearing aids or cochlear implants (where no difference between the two types of aids is noted).

Keywords: sign language linguistics; homesigns; language acquisition; Theory of Mind; French Sign Language; cognitive development; hearing aids; cochlear implants

Chapter.  4716 words. 

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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