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.
Tagged with “words language” (2)
It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But in this hour of Radiolab, we try to do just that.
We meet a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke, and retrace the birth of a brand new language 30 years ago.