Articles  |   March 1985
Creative Language Abilities of Deaf Children
Articles   |   March 1985
Creative Language Abilities of Deaf Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research March 1985, Vol.28, 73-78. doi:10.1044/jshr.2801.73
History: Accepted 16 Aug 1984 , Received 13 Sep 1983
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research March 1985, Vol.28, 73-78. doi:10.1044/jshr.2801.73
History: Accepted 16 Aug 1984 , Received 13 Sep 1983

The language flexibilty and creativity of deaf children was investigated by having four deaf and four hearing 12–15-year-olds generate stories to experimenter-supplied themes. These were videotaped and examined for instances of nonliteral communication. Contrary to previous claims that deaf children are extremely rigid and literal in their language use, subjects here showed considerable use of creative language devices when evaluated in sign rather than vocal language. Deaf students produced traditional types of figurative contructions at a rate equal to their hearing age-mates and surpassed them in four other categories of nonliteral expression. These findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive skills required for and reflected by figurative language use and common assumptions concerning deaf children's related abilities.

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