A Rochester Institute of Technology research team is studying Nicaraguan Sign Language to examine how it has changed over the past 40 years. The goal is to understand what drives language change, especially when a language is in its infancy — use of this Sign Language began in the 1970s. The researchers want to know whether languages adapt to be easier to produce or easier to understand. Studying footage of Nicaraguan Sign Language in use has allowed the researchers to assess how and why linguistic changes are occurring, to help us further understand the complex relationship between language and the humans who use it.
RIT is a member of NYSERNet’s R&E network. Read more about the study here: https://www.rit.edu/news/new-research-unlocking-secrets-how-languages-change