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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: The Signs of a Savant
Subtitle: Language Against the Odds
Written By: Neil Smith
Ianthi-Maria Tsimpli
Gary Morgan
Bencie Woll

Every once in a while nature gives us insight into the human condition by
providing us with a unique case whose special properties illuminate the
species as a whole. Christopher is such an example. Despite disabilities
which mean that everyday tasks are burdensome chores, Christopher is a
linguistic wonder who can read, write, speak, understand and translate more
than twenty languages. On some tests he shows a severely low IQ, hinting at
ineducability, yet his English language ability indicates an IQ in excess of
120 (a level more than sufficient to enter university). Christopher is a
savant, someone with an island of startling talent in a sea of inability.
This book documents his learning of British Sign Language, casting light on
the modularity of cognition, the modality neutrality of the language
faculty, the structure of memory, the grammar of signed language and the
nature of the human mind.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Cognitive Science
Subject Language(s): British Sign Language
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521852277
ISBN-13: 9780521852272
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00
U.K. £ 60.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521617693
ISBN-13: 9780521617697
Prices: U.K. £ 21.99
U.S. $ 34.99