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Persistence and transmission of recessive deafness and sign language: New insights from village sign languages

Gialluisi, A., Dediu, D., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2013). Persistence and transmission of recessive deafness and sign language: New insights from village sign languages. European Journal of Human Genetics, 21, 894-896. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.292.
First paragraph: The study of the transmission of sign languages can give novel insights into the transmission of spoken languages1 and, more generally, into gene–culture coevolution. Over the years, several papers related to the persistence of sign language have been reported.2–6 All of these studies have emphasized the role of assortative (non-random) mating by deafness state (ie, a tendency for deaf individuals to partner together) for increasing the frequency of recessive deafness, and hence for the persistence of sign language in a population.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

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