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[Xmca-l] Nicaraguan Case Again

I encountered again this summary statement from 2003 by Senghas concerning
the state of research on Nicaraguan Sign. It continues to
seem relevant to the current conversation on language and thought.

A comprehension task examining interpretations of spatially

 modulated verbs reveals that new form-function mappings arise among

who functionally differentiate previously equivalent forms. The new
mappings are then

acquired by their age peers (who are also children), and by subsequent
generations of

children who learn the language, but not by adult contemporaries. As a
result, language

emergence is characterized by a convergence on form within each age cohort,
and a mismatch

in form from one age cohort to the cohort that follows. In this way, each
age cohort,

in sequence, transforms the language environment for the next, enabling
each new cohort

of learners to develop further than its predecessors.

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.