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Scene-setting and reference introduction in sign and spoken languages: What does modality tell us?

Sumer, B. (2016). Scene-setting and reference introduction in sign and spoken languages: What does modality tell us? In B. Haznedar, & F. N. Ketrez (Eds.), The acquisition of Turkish in childhood (pp. 193-220). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Previous studies show that children do not become adult-like in learning to set the scene and introduce referents in their narrations until 9 years of age and even beyond. However, they investigated spoken languages, thus we do not know much about how these skills are acquired in sign languages, where events are expressed in visually similar ways to the real world events, unlike in spoken languages. The results of the current study demonstrate that deaf children (3;5–9;10 years) acquiring Turkish Sign Language, and hearing children (3;8–9;11 years) acquiring spoken Turkish both acquire scene-setting and referent introduction skills at similar ages. Thus the modality of the language being acquired does not have facilitating or hindering effects in the development of these skills.
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