Symbolic Skills in the Deaf: Some Recent Developments in Research

  • David Wood


In the past, psychologists have looked to the deaf as a source of data in developing and testing hypotheses about the role of language in cognitive functioning. The most widely known and debated work along these lines was that undertaken by Furth in the 1960’s (e.g. Furth, 1966; 1971). Furth argued that his studies proved that deaf children with no language showed delayed but not deviant intellectual functioning. Using a range of Piagetian tasks, he found that deaf subjects achieved normal, concrete operational thinking, although they did so some years later than is usual for hearing people. Furth concluded that deafness does not lead to grossly impaired intelligence.


Sign Language Deaf Child Deaf People Hearing Child Deaf Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, R. J. and Sisco, F. H., 1977, Standardization of the WISC-R Performance Scale for deaf children. Office of Demographic Studies, Gallaudet College, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  2. Bellugi, U., and Fischer, S., 1972, A comparison of sign language and spoken language. Cognition, 1, 173–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bellugi, U., Klima, E.S., and Siple, P., 1974, Remembering in signs, Cognition, 3, 93–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Breslaw, P.I., Griffiths, A. J., Wood, D. J. and Howarth, C. I., 1981, The referential communication skills of deaf children from different education environments. J. Child Psychol. & Psychiat., 22, 3, 269–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conrad, R., 1979, “The Deaf School Child”, Harper and Row, London.Google Scholar
  6. Cromer, R.F. 1974, The Development of Language and Cognition, in “New Perspectives in Child Development”, B.M. Foss, ed., Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  7. Dawson, E., 1981, Psycholinguistic processes in prelingually deaf adolescents, in B. Woll, J. Kyle and M. Deuchar, eds., “Perspectives on British Sign Language and Deafness,” Croom Helm, London.Google Scholar
  8. Friedman, L. A., 1977, “On the Other Hand. New Perspectives on American Sign Language,” Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Furth, H.G., 1966, “Thinking without Language,” Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Furth, H.G., 1971, Linguistic deficiency and thinking: Research with deaf subjects, 1964–1969. Psych. Bull., 76, 1, 58–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Howarth, S.P., Wood, D.J., Griffiths, A.J. and Howarth, C.I., 1981, A comparative study of the reading lessons of deaf and hearing primary school children. Brit. J. Ed. Psych., 51, 156–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jensema, C., 1975, The relationships between academic achievement and the demographic characteristics of hearing impaired children and youth, Office of Demographic Studies, Gallaudet College, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  13. Jensema, C., Karchmer, M.A. and Trybus, R.J., 1978, The rated speech intelligibility of hearing impaired children: basic relationships and a detailed analysis, Office of Demographic Studies, Gallaudet College, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  14. Jensema, W., and Trybus, R. J., 1978, Communication patterns and educational achievement of hearing impaired students, Office of Demographic Studies, Gallaudet College, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  15. Kyle, J. G., 1980, Reading development of deaf children, J. Res. Read., Vol. 3, 2, 86–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Labov, W., 1970, The logic of non-standard english, in “Language and Poverty”, F. Williams, ed., Markham, Chicago.Google Scholar
  17. O’Connor, N., and Hermelin, B., 1978, “Seeing and Hearing and Space and Time,” Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  18. Quigley, S.P., and Kretschmer, R.E., 1982, “The Education of Deaf Children. Issues, Theory and Practice,” Edward Arnold, London.Google Scholar
  19. Quigley, S.P., Montanelli, D.S., and Wilbur, R.B., 1976, Some aspects of the verb system in the language of deaf students. J. Sp. Hear. Res., 19, 536–550.Google Scholar
  20. Quigley, S.P., Wilbur, R.B., and Montanelli, D.S., 1976, Complement structures in the language of deaf students. J. Sp. Hear. Res., 19, 448, 457.Google Scholar
  21. Stokoe, W. C., 1972, “Semiotics and Human Sign Languages,” Mouton, The Hague.Google Scholar
  22. Stokoe, W. C., 1976, The study and use of sign language. S.L.S., 12, 1–36.Google Scholar
  23. Tervoort, B.T., 1978, Bilingual interference, in “Sign Language the Deaf,” I. M. Schlesinger and L. Namir, eds., Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  24. Tervoort, B.T., and Verbeck, A. J., 1967, “Analysis of Communicative Structure Patterns in Deaf Children”, Z.W.O. Onderzock, Groningen.Google Scholar
  25. Wilbur, R. B., and Quigley, S. P., 1975, Syntactic structures in the written language of deaf children. Volta Rev 77, 194–205.Google Scholar
  26. Wilbur, R. B., Montanelli, D.S., and Quigley, S.P., 1976, Pronominalisation in the language of deaf students. J. Sp. Hear. Res., 19, 120–140.Google Scholar
  27. Wood, D. J., 1982, The linguistic experience of the prelingually hearing impaired child, Teacher of the Deaf, 6, 4, 86–93.Google Scholar
  28. Wood, D. J., Wood, H. A., Griffiths, A. J., Howarth, S. P. Howarth, C. I., 1982, The structure of conversations with 6–10 year old deaf children. J. Child Psych. & Psychiat., 23, 3, 295–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Deafness Research GroupUniversity of NottinghamEngland

Personalised recommendations