Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews research on communication and vocabulary development of deaf and hard of hearing children with hearing parents from infancy through preschool, as well as features of their language learning environment. Important aspects of early development include the acquisition of complex vocalizations or babbling, intentional communication, joint attention, and the pragmatic function and role of language in communication with others. Vocabulary development is described by exploring changes in vocabulary size, growth rate, lexicon content, and the ability to learn novel words quickly. The final section reviews research on the characteristics of parental input that may affect the rate of vocabulary development. Throughout the chapter, changes in developmental trajectories resulting from early identification and intervention, and improved technologies (i.e., digital hearing aids and cochlear implants) are described.
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