Study Probes Connection Between Texting and Language Impairment - This study, from these people, at the University of Manchester, finds that teens with language impairment (or SLI, to be specific), don’t use texting technology as much as their typically developing peers. The study authors surmised that this relative lack of texting is caused more by societal factors, such as shyness, and lack of friendship networks, rather than lack of ability.
Doctors and Sreenings – Good; Doctors and Referrals – Not so Good – A report spearheaded by John Hopkins Children’s Center shows that while pediatricians may be doing a good job of screening kids, referrals for further assessment often go unheeded. The study recommended that instead of placing referrals in the hands of parents, these referrals should be directly placed to specialists. My information comes from this this link from Science Daily.
Study Challenges Current Thinking on Language Evolution – Again from Science Daily: According to a statistical analysis of more than 2,000 of the world’s languages, they may evolve more like biological organisms, and less from more random forces, as previously thought. The bullet synopsis is that the more people speak a language, the simpler the language becomes. The researchers called this the “Linguistic Niche Hypothesis.” One possible explanation for this is that simplicity holds an evolutionary advantage over complexity, particularly when children learn languages. It should be noted that simpler languages are not necessarily inferior languages. They just do not have aspects which aren’t as necessary, such as elaborate gender marking, for example. Pschologists from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Memphis conducted this analysis. More info can be found at this Penn site.
Children Make up Their Own Rules To Help Them Learn Language – This study used computer analysis to theorize that early language development follows formulas that children generate on their own, rather than specific rules governing such things as nouns and verbs, as linguists have traditionally thought. Or as I’ve simply put it, in language development, Form Follows Function. Leading this work was Colin Bannard, at the University of Texas, and Elena Lieven and Michael Tomasello, two colleagues working at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The more in-depth article can be found at the University of Texas site.