Imagine knowing no language at all…
…and then giving birth to one.
This is what happened amongst the children at a school for the deaf in Nicaragua in the 1980s.
And my guest today was there to witness and document it.
Judy Shepard Kegl is a linguist who specialises in sign languages. Back in 1985 she had recently completed her PhD when out of the blue she was invited down to Nicaragua’s then relatively new school for the deaf.
What she saw tells us something about the nature of languages - regardless of whether they’re signed or spoken - and about how each and every one of us learn our mother tongue.
The episode was produced by Freddy Chick
The senior producer is Charlotte Long
Edited and mixed by Thomas Ntinas
For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.
If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.