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<h1>The Briefing: Who decides how a young language grows?</h1><section class="abstract"><p>A lot of research goes into our stories. Here are some of the resources we used to put together our story on emerging sign languages.</p>
</section><p>Emerging sign languages could reveal how all language evolved – but keeping these fragile languages isolated for research may mean the people who rely on them lose out.</p>
<p>Challenge yourself to dive deeper into this topic with videos, news articles and (if you’re up to it) some academic papers.</p>

<h3>Videos</h3>

<p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwXBwV1YJ-s">This video</a> on the Bengkala community celebrates the way in which deaf members of society are treated as equals.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1I7IHY6xc4">This video</a> by Barnard College examines the emergence and evolution of Nicaraguan Sign Language.</p>
<p>In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69nJ1l4DO-s">this online lecture</a>, Dr&nbsp;Mairead MacSweeney, from the&nbsp;UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience,&nbsp;describes how the brain learns to process sign language.</p>


    <aside class="inline-extra--item">
      <a href="/story/research-emerging-sign-language-linguists-ethics-bsl-asl-deaf"></a>
      <h3 class="inline-extra--label">Extra</h3>
      <a href="/story/research-emerging-sign-language-linguists-ethics-bsl-asl-deaf">Studying an emerging sign language won’t kill it – so what are linguists scared of?</a>
      <p class="extras-list--text"></p>
    </aside>
  
<h3>In the news</h3>

<p><a href="https://aeon.co/essays/should-endangered-languages-be-preserved-and-at-what-cost">This essay</a> by lecturer Rebecca Roache argues that, setting aside sentimentality, there are good philosophical reasons to preserve endangered languages.</p>
<p>In <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/new-sign-languages-hint-how-all-languages-evolve">this piece</a> for <em>Science</em>, Catherine Matacic claims that new sign languages provide insight into how all languages evolve.</p>
<p>Psycholinguistics researcher Connie de Vos <a href="https://www.mpi.nl/departments/language-and-cognition/fieldsites/kata-kolok">has argued that</a> widespread deafness among the Bengkala community is due to a recessive gene that produces shortened hair cells inside the ear.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/09/13/Fighting-Save-Indigenous-Sign-Languages/">In this feature</a>, Carlos Oen describes attempts by First Nations peoples in Canada to preserve their indigenous sign languages, which are on the verge of extinction as American Sign Language becomes dominant.&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/40585591/how-language-shapes-our-perception-of-reality">This piece on linguistic relativism</a> explores how subtle differences across languages change the way we experience the world, shaping our perception of reality.</p>
<p><a href="https://thoughtcatalog.com/pierce-nahigyan/2015/12/17-words-we-dont-have-in-english-that-describe-feelings-we-have-every-day/">This article</a> reveals 17 non-English words used to describe&nbsp;feelings which we don’t have equivalents for in English.</p>

<h3>Academic writing</h3>

<p><a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cac8/28b609405fbde0679b4d97ed3cc1338c949d.pdf">This study</a> discusses emerging sign/village languages in Bali, Israel and Nicaragua, noting some of their common characteristics.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385183/">This 2012 paper</a> investigates whether or not inbreeding is a cause of deafness.</p>

<h3>More from Mosaic</h3>

<span>Newsletter:&nbsp;</span>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/where-language-brain/">Gaia Vince investigates where language is located inside the brain</a>, and whether the meaning of a word&nbsp;determines its&nbsp;associated brain region.</p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/coining-new-languages/">In this piece on our evolving linguistic landscape</a>, Gaia Vince reflects on the dialects humanity loses and gains every year.</p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-deaf-people-hear-voices/">Jemima Hodkinson explores</a> the seemingly paradoxical experience of deaf people with schizophrenia ‘hearing’ voices.</p>

<p>Emerging sign languages could reveal how all language evolved – but keeping these fragile languages isolated for research may mean the people who rely on them lose out.</p>
<p>Challenge yourself to dive deeper into this topic with videos, news articles and (if you’re up to it) some academic papers.</p>

<h3>Videos</h3>

<p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwXBwV1YJ-s">This video</a> on the Bengkala community celebrates the way in which deaf members of society are treated as equals.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1I7IHY6xc4">This video</a> by Barnard College examines the emergence and evolution of Nicaraguan Sign Language.</p>
<p>In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69nJ1l4DO-s">this online lecture</a>, Dr&nbsp;Mairead MacSweeney, from the&nbsp;UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience,&nbsp;describes how the brain learns to process sign language.</p>


    
      <a href="/story/research-emerging-sign-language-linguists-ethics-bsl-asl-deaf"></a>
      <h3 class="inline-extra--label">Extra</h3>
      <a href="/story/research-emerging-sign-language-linguists-ethics-bsl-asl-deaf">Studying an emerging sign language won’t kill it – so what are linguists scared of?</a>
      <p class="extras-list--text"></p>
    
  
<h3>In the news</h3>

<p><a href="https://aeon.co/essays/should-endangered-languages-be-preserved-and-at-what-cost">This essay</a> by lecturer Rebecca Roache argues that, setting aside sentimentality, there are good philosophical reasons to preserve endangered languages.</p>
<p>In <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/new-sign-languages-hint-how-all-languages-evolve">this piece</a> for <em>Science</em>, Catherine Matacic claims that new sign languages provide insight into how all languages evolve.</p>
<p>Psycholinguistics researcher Connie de Vos <a href="https://www.mpi.nl/departments/language-and-cognition/fieldsites/kata-kolok">has argued that</a> widespread deafness among the Bengkala community is due to a recessive gene that produces shortened hair cells inside the ear.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/09/13/Fighting-Save-Indigenous-Sign-Languages/">In this feature</a>, Carlos Oen describes attempts by First Nations peoples in Canada to preserve their indigenous sign languages, which are on the verge of extinction as American Sign Language becomes dominant.&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/40585591/how-language-shapes-our-perception-of-reality">This piece on linguistic relativism</a> explores how subtle differences across languages change the way we experience the world, shaping our perception of reality.</p>
<p><a href="https://thoughtcatalog.com/pierce-nahigyan/2015/12/17-words-we-dont-have-in-english-that-describe-feelings-we-have-every-day/">This article</a> reveals 17 non-English words used to describe&nbsp;feelings which we don’t have equivalents for in English.</p>

<h3>Academic writing</h3>

<p><a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cac8/28b609405fbde0679b4d97ed3cc1338c949d.pdf">This study</a> discusses emerging sign/village languages in Bali, Israel and Nicaragua, noting some of their common characteristics.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385183/">This 2012 paper</a> investigates whether or not inbreeding is a cause of deafness.</p>

<h3>More from Mosaic</h3>

Newsletter:&nbsp;
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/where-language-brain/">Gaia Vince investigates where language is located inside the brain</a>, and whether the meaning of a word&nbsp;determines its&nbsp;associated brain region.</p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/coining-new-languages/">In this piece on our evolving linguistic landscape</a>, Gaia Vince reflects on the dialects humanity loses and gains every year.</p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-deaf-people-hear-voices/">Jemima Hodkinson explores</a> the seemingly paradoxical experience of deaf people with schizophrenia ‘hearing’ voices.</p>

<img src="http://mosaicscience.com/mwt-republish-img/1592/republish.gif" />This <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/briefing-who-decides-how-young-language-grows">article</a> first appeared on <a href="https://mosaicscience.com">Mosaic</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.
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