Comprehension of English syntax by profoundly deaf children.
Seventy-nine profoundly deaf 8 to 12-year-olds were tested for comprehension of spoken, written and signed (Paget-Gorman Sign System, PGSS) English grammatical contrasts. Understanding of spoken language was below the 4-year-old level, with few deaf children understanding enough vocabulary to attempt the test. On written and signed forms, many children responded to content words with little understanding of grammar. Others would interpret word order sequentially, producing characteristic errors. PGSS can provide a viable communication channel and does not hinder oral or written language acquisition, but it does not overcome the grammatical problems of deaf children.