What’s the difference between sign languages and verbal languages? Their modality!

Both sign language and verbal (also referred to as spoken) language are full forms of language (full stop!). They just use different forms of physical expression, known as modalities. Verbal language involves the oral-auditory modality, which is based on the sounds that humans can produce with their vocal tracts and understand with their hearing. Sign […]

Words sometimes sound the same but mean different things, or mean the same thing but sound different! Homonymy, Synonymy, and Polysemy

Language can be ambiguous and confusing, even for adults. For example, sometimes two words that sound the same mean something very different, and sometimes words that sound very different have very closely related meanings! Homonymy, polysemy, and synonymy are just a few properties of language where the meanings and sounds of words interact. Let’s break […]

A selfie showing Amber on the left and Ivan on the right. Amber has long, dark brown hair, and wears a black and white patterend shirt and glasses. Ivan has short, dark brown hair and wears a red and blue tie-dye t-shirt.

“Being open to thinking outside the box, figuring out how to make things work, and being flexible. It goes a long way for accessibility:” An interview with Amber Bobnar of WonderBaby

Amber Bobnar is the founder of WonderBaby.org, a website dedicated to sharing resources for families with children with visual impairments and children with multiple disabilities. She started the blog 15 years ago during the process of receiving diagnoses for her son Ivan, who is blind. We caught up with Amber to talk about Ivan, what […]

Words Create Worlds: Guest Post from the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC

The Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC is a world-renowned pediatric cochlear implant program, staffed by 4 full time audiologists and 6 full time Listening and Spoken Language certified speech and language pathologists. The Children’s Cochlear Implant Center provides individualized therapy for children with all levels of hearing loss, and learning opportunities for hearing care […]

Here, Ellie (wearing a floral print dress and pigtails) explores a tree on the UCLA campus with her hands while her baby brother Sebastian gives her a big hug from behind (he is also blonde and wearing a pink shirt).

“Blind children can learn a lot through observation.” Interview with Dr. Jennifer Silvers, parent and researcher

Jennifer Silvers, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Developmental and Social areas of the Psychology Department at UCLA as well as at UCLA’s Brain Research Institute. She is the Principal Investigator for the Social Affective Neuroscience and Development (SAND) Lab, which studies how children, adolescents, and adults regulate their emotions and the effects of […]

How do kids know whether a word refers to a specific object or a bigger category?

The taxonomic assumption groups objects together based on shared characteristics. When children are learning the names for new objects, they use different strategies to learn faster. In addition to assuming that the same object name applies to objects that are the same shape (shape bias) and assuming one name per object (mutual exclusivity), young children […]