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Idioma de Senas de Nicaragua

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Before a couple of cultural changes in Nicaragua, the deaf were unfortunately kept within the immediate family, where more often than not they were the only one of their kind. Staring in the early 1980s a school opened for the deaf as part of a national effort to promote literacy. Finally these kids would be in a room of peers, but they had zero language skills above pointing and grunting. Amazingly, after a miserably failed attempt at teaching the latin alphabet the children themselves started communicating in a unique language invented on the spot. It quickly evolved into Idioma de Senas de Nicaragua or Nicaraguan Sign Language. The astonishing aspects of this new language observed since birth is that it began to develop grammar and a break down of information into what we would call individual words in order to reroute sentences and achieve an exact expression of the idea being communicated. Ironically, these complexities came from the younger of the children who were said to still have been in the crucial language mastering stage of human development. The older kids seems more like they were playing charades.
Sources: BBC, Damn Interesting
relatedFAQ: Stupor Mundi

 

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