Research overview

Language development. My early research concentrated on comparisons between sign and spoken language development and my PhD described this with narrative skills. In the first studies I used spontaneous language samples from 2 families of native signers. During this period I co-edited the IASCL volume in 2002 with Bencie Woll on sign acquisition. I then moved on to look at the effects of different experiences of learning language i.e. being born to deaf and hearing parents. My current work on language is involving more experimental studies with BSL in adults and also gestures and spoken language in deaf children. This last factor is to do with the changes in how language is being used by this group. The research question now is why there is so much variability in how completely deaf children learn spoken language. Click here for an interview by IASCL on language development

I have been looking at language impairments in signing children and gestures in hearing people with language difficulties. This research looks at common and differing patterns of breakdown. Linked to this area I worked in my post-doc with Neil Smith (UCL) and how Christopher the language savant would learn BSL.

Language and Cognition. My other research interest is the relationship between language and cognitive development. I have looked at this in relation to Theory of Mind and now with the development of Executive Functions. A common theme is emerging, linked to the quality of early interaction (communication) and its role in setting up language structures. Also that the relationship changes over development.

Here is a recent interview on deaf children's cognitive development

Gesture-sign interface. In other areas I am investigating how children learn about iconicity and gesture. Linked to this last question I have been exploring how signed languages have evolved from co-speech gesture and what role language development (in adults and children) has played during this transition. I am leading an international project looking at how hearing adults lean signing and what role gesture plays in this.

A lot of things happened durng 2005-2015 because of ESRC funding to run a research centre. Click here - to go to the DCAL research centre which was set up between Bencie Woll, Ruth Campbell, Gabriella Vigliocco, Mairead MacSweeney and Gary Morgan

ESRC - Economic & Social Research Council

Papers are downloadable, contact me for copies if not.

Language development 

Pierce, L., Genesee, F., Delcenserie, A. & Morgan, G. (in press). Linking Early Language Experiences and Language Learning Outcomes. Special target article which will be published with a range of commentaries and our response to these. Applied Pscholinguistics

Thompson, R., England, R., Woll, B., Lu, J. Mumford, K. & Morgan, G. (2017). Deaf and hearing children’s picture naming: Impact of age of acquisition and language modality on representational gesture. The gesture–sign interface in language acquisition / L’interface geste–signe dans l’acquisition du langage. Special issue of Language, Interaction and Acquisition 8:1 (2017)

Perniss, P., Lu, J., Morgan, G. & Vigliocco, G. (2017). Mapping language to the world: The role of iconicity in the sign language input. Developmental Science

Morgan, G. (2017). Trying to make sense of language synthesis. Commentary on Lillo-Martin et al. The development of bimodal bilingualism Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 6:6, 799-801

Mann, W., Sheng, L. & Morgan, G. (2016). Lexical-Semantic Organization in Bilingually Developing Deaf Children with ASL Dominant Language Exposure: Evidence From a Repeated Meaning Association Task. Language Learning

Lu, J., Jones, A. & Morgan, G. (2016). The impact of input quality on early sign development in native and non-native language learners. Journal of Child Language, Special Issue on critical periods

Mann, W., Roy, P. & Morgan, G. (2016). Adaptation of a Vocabulary Test from British Sign Language to American Sign Language. Language Testing

Morgan, G (2015). On language acquisition in speech and sign: development of combinatorial structure in both modalities. Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences.

Perez, M., Valsameda, M. & Morgan, G. (2015). Bilingual sign education in Madrid, Spain. In. G, Tang, H. Knoors & M. Marschark. Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education (Oxford University Press).  

Singleton, J., Martin, A. & Morgan, G. (2015). Ethics, Deaf-Friendly Research, and Good Practice When Studying Sign Languages. In E. Orfanidou, B. Woll, & G. Morgan. Research Methods in Sign Language Studies: A Practical Guide. Wiley-Blackwell.

Morgan, G. (2014). Critical Period in Language Development. In P. Brookes & V. Kempe (Eds). Encyclopedia of Language Development. Sage press.

Marshall, C,. Mann, W. & Morgan, G. (2011). Short-term memory in signed languages: Not just a disadvantage for serial recall. Front. Psychology 2:102

Mann, W., Marshall, C., Mason, K., & Morgan, G. (2010). The acquisition of sign language: the impact of phonetic complexity on phonology. Language Learning and Development 6, 60-86

Non-sign repetition - click here for more information

Ortega, G.; Morgan, G. (2010). Comparing child and adult development of a visual phonological system. Language, Interaction and Acquisition. 1 (1) 67-81.

Morgan, G., Herman, R., Barriere, I. & Woll, B. (2008). The onset and mastery of spatial language in children acquiring British Sign Language,  Cognitive Development, 23, 1-9. Commentary on the paper by Dan Slobin

Marshall, C. & Morgan, G. (2008). Review of Visible variation. J. Linguistics 44 (2008)

Morgan, G., Barrett-Jones, S. & Stoneham, H. (2007). The first signs of language: phonological development in British Sign Language.  Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 3-22

Morgan, G. & Woll, B. (eds). (2007). Understanding sign language classifiers through a polycomponential approach.  Special Issue Lingua, 117, 7, 1159-1168.

Morgan, G., Barriere, I. & Woll, B. (2006) The influence of typology and modality in the acquisition of verb agreement in British Sign Language. First Language, 26, p19-44.

Morgan, G. (2006). Children are just lingual: The development of phonology in BSL. Lingua, 116, 1507-1523

Morgan, G. (2005). What is Homesign? Review of S. Goldin-Meadow (2003). The resilience of Language. Psychology press. Journal of Child Language, 32, 925-928.

Morgan, G., Barriere, I. & Woll, B. (2003). First verbs in British Sign Language development. Working Papers in Language and Communication Science, vol. 2 pp 57-66

Morgan, G (2003). Transcription of child sign language. Journal of Deafness and Education International, 5: 3, 157-166.  

Morgan, G., Herman, R. & Woll, B. (2002). The development of complex verb constructions in BSL. Journal of Child Language, 29, 655 -675.   

Morgan, G. & Woll, B. (2002). (eds)  Directions in sign language acquisition.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Narrative development

Jones, A., Marshall, C., Botting, N., Atkinson, J., Toscana, E., Denmark, T.,  Herman, R. & Morgan, G. (in press). Narrative skills in deaf children who use spoken English: dissociations between macro and microstructural devices. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 59, 268–282

Caballero, M., Sanz-Torrent, M. & Morgan G. (2015). Desarrollo narrativo en niños de habla Catalana: Adaptación del test “Spider Story” (Catalan narrative development). Poster presented at the IV Clinical Linguistics International Congress University of Barcelona.

Bel, A., Ortells, M. & Morgan, G. (2014). Reference control in the narratives of adult sign language learners. International Journal of Bilingualism.

Rathmann, C., Mann, W. & Morgan, G. (2007). Narrative structure and narrative development in deaf children. Deafness and Education International, 9, 187-196.   

Morgan, G. (2005). Transcription of child sign language: A focus on narrative Journal of Sign Language and Linguistics, 8, 119-130

Morgan, G. (2005). The development of narrative in British Sign Language. In , B. Schick; M. Marschark & P. Spencer (eds). Advances in Sign Language Development in Deaf Children. Oxford University Press

Morgan, G. & Woll, B. (2003). The development of reference switching encoded through body classifiers in BSL. In K, Emmorey (ed), Perspectives on classifier constructions in sign languages. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Press pp 297-310

Morgan, G. (2002). The encoding of simultaneity in children's BSL narratives. Journal of Sign Language and Linguistics 5:2, 127-161.

Morgan, G. (2000). Discourse Cohesion in Sign and Speech. International Journal of Bilingualism, 4, 279-300.  

Morgan, G. (1999). The development of discourse cohesion in BSL. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Bristol 

Morgan, G. (1999). Event packaging in British Sign Language discourse. In E. Winston (ed), Story Telling & Conversation: Discourse in Deaf Communities, pp 27-58. Washington D.C: Galluadet University press.

Morgan, G. (1999). Narrative development in British Sign Language. In C. Schelletter, C. Letts and M. Garman (eds), Issues in Child Language: from Phonology to Narrative. Reading: FECS press.

Morgan, G. (1997) Learning to use referential space in sign language discourse In K. Bernhardt (ed), Papers in Linguistics from the Univ. Manchester 1, p145-156.

Morgan, G. (1996) Spatial anaphoric mechanisms in British Sign Language. In S. Botely (ed), Approaches to Discourse Anaphora 8, University of Lancaster press.

Morgan, G. (1996) Discourse organisation in a British Sign Language Narrative. In E. Pedro (ed), Discourse Analysis. Lisbon: Colibri.

Language and Cognition

Go to our project on Executive functions

Go to our project on early ToM development in deaf children website - click here

Marshall, C., Fastelli A., Jones, A., Botting, N., Atkinson-Hearn, J. & Morgan, G. (in press).
Semantic fluency in deaf children who use spoken and signed language, in comparison to hearing peers
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 

Morgan, G., Meristo, M. & Hjelmquist, E. (in press). Conversational experience, language and the development of Theory of Mind. In V. Slaughter (ed). Environmental Influences on Theory of Mind Development: Festschrift for Candi Peterson. Psychology Press.

Botting, N., Jones, A., Marshall, C., Denmark, T., Atkinson, J., & Morgan, G. (2016). Non-verbal executive function is mediated by language: A study of deaf and hearing children. Child Development  

Marshall C, Jones A, Denmark T, Mason K, Atkinson J, Botting N and Morgan G (2015). Deaf children's non-verbal working memory is impacted by their language experience. Front. Psychol. 6:527.

Morgan, G. (in press). Social-cognition for learning as a deaf student. In H. Knoors & M. Marschark. Educating Deaf Students: Creating a Global Evidence Base. Oxford University Press.

Morgan, G. Meristo, M., Mann, W., Hjelmquist, E., Surian, L., & Siegal, M. (2014). Mental state language and quality of conversational experience in deaf and hearing children. Cognitive Development, 29,  41–49 

Meristo, M., Morgan, G., Geraci, A., Iozzi, L., Hjelmquist, E., Surian, L., & Siegal, M. (2014). Belief attribution in deaf and hearing infants. Developmental Science.  

I was asked to talk about this paper in a web interview - here that is

Meristo,. M., Hjelmquist, E., & Morgan, G. (2012). How access to language affects theory of mind in deaf children. In M. Siegal & L. Surian (Eds.).  Access to language and cognitive development.  New York : Oxford University Press. (pp. 44–61)

Herman, R. & Morgan, G. (2011). Deafness, Language and Communication. in K. Hilari and N. Botting (eds). The Impact of Communication Disability Across the Lifespan. J&R Press Ltd, Guildford , UK.

Meristo et al. (2010). Belief-attribution in deaf and hearing infants: Evidence for the importance of conversational input. Opening Conference of the Cognitive Development Center, January 15-16 2010, Budapest, Hungary

Morgan, G. & Kegl, J. (2006). Nicaraguan Sign Language and Theory of Mind: The issue of Critical Periods and Abilities. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 811-819.  

A video of an introductory talk on ToM and deafness University of Athens 27.1.12

Atypical Language Development 

Go to our sign language SLI project project website - click here

Mann, W., Peña, E., & Morgan, G. (in press). Child Modifiability as Predictor of Language Abilities in Deaf Children who use American Sign Language. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Marshall, C. & Morgan, G. (in press). Investigating sign language development, delay and disorder in deaf children. In M. Marschark & P. Spencer. The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies in Language: Research, Policy, and Practice.

Marshall, C., JA, KM, K.R, B.W, & Morgan, G. (in press). Sentence repetition in deaf children with specific language impairment in British Sign Language. Language Learning and Development.

Mann, W., Peña, E. & Morgan, G. (2014). Exploring the Use of Dynamic Language Assessment with Deaf Children who use American Sign Language: Two Case Studies. Journal of Communication Disorders.

Herman, R., Rowley, K., Mason, K. & Morgan, G. (2014). Deficits in narrative abilities in child British Sign Language users with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49, 343-353  

Herman, R., JA, KM, K.R, B.W, & Morgan, G. (2014). Profiling and profiling SLI in Deaf children who are sign language users. In D. Quinto-Pozos (ed). Multilingual Aspects of Signed Language Communication and Disorder. Multilingual Matters. pp45-69

Marshall, C., Rowley, K., Mason, K., Herman, R. & Morgan, G. (2012). Lexical organization in deaf children who use British Sign Language: Evidence from a semantic fluency task. Journal of Child Language. 

Woll, B. & Morgan, G. (2012). Language impairments in the development of sign: Do they reside in a specific modality or are they modality-independent deficits? Bilingualism, Language & Cognition, 15, 75-87.

Mason, K., Rowley, K. Marshall, C.R., Atkinson, J. Herman, R. Woll, B. & Morgan, G. (2010). Identifying Specific Language Impairment in Deaf children acquiring British Sign Language: Implications for theory and practice. BJDP28, 33-49 

Smith, N., Tsimpli, I.M. Morgan, G. & Woll, B. (2010). Signs of the Savant. CUP. Read a review on linguistlist

Morgan, G., Smith, N., Tsimpli, I.M. & Woll, B. (2007). Classifier learning and modality in a polyglot savant. Lingua, 117, 7, 1339-1353

Morgan, G., Herman. & Woll B (2007). Language impairments in sign language: breakthroughs and puzzles. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 42, 97-105

Marshall, C. R. Denmark, T. & Morgan, G. (2006) Investigating the underlying causes of SLI: a non-sign repetition test in British Sign Language. Advances in Speech-Language Pathology 8(4): 347 – 355.  

Morgan, G. (2005). Biology and Behaviour: Insights from the acquisition of sign language. In A. Cutler (ed). Twenty-First Century Psycholinguistics: Four Cornerstones. Lawrence Erlbaum Press.

Morgan, G., Smith, N., Tsimpli, I.M. & Woll, B. (2002). Language against the odds: the learning of BSL by a polyglot savant.  Journal of Linguistics, 38, 1-41  

Morgan, G., Woll, B., Smith, N, & Tsimpli, I.M. (2002). The effects of modality on BSL development in an exceptional learner. In R. Meier, Cormier, K. A. & Quinto, D.G.  (eds), Modality and structure in signed and spoken language. Cambridge University Press. pp 422 -441  

Gesture and signs - news on a new grant to investigate how hearing people learn sign language

14_hand.jpg (96716 Byte) thumb up finger up free images

Pritchard, M., Dipper, L., Morgan, G. & Cocks, N. (in press). The language-gesture connection: evidence from aphasia. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

Ortega, G., & Morgan, G. (2015). Input processing at first exposure to a sign language. Second language research.

Pritchard, M., Dipper, L., Morgan, G. & Cocks, N. (2015). Impaired integration of gesture and speech in aphasia.  International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.

Pritchard, M., Dipper, L., Morgan, G. & Cocks, N. (2015). Language and Iconic Gesture Use in Procedural Discourse by Speakers with Aphasia. Aphasiology

Ortega, G. & Morgan, G. (2015. The effect of iconicity in the mental lexicon of hearing non-signers and proficient signers: Evidence of cross-modal priming. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(5), 574-585

Marshall, C. & Morgan, G. (2015). From gesture to sign language: Conventionalisation of classifier constructions by adult hearing learners of British Sign Language. Topics in Cognitive Science. 

Perniss, P., Özyürek, A., & Morgan, G. (2015). The influence of the visual modality on language structure and language conventionalization: Insights from sign language and gesture. Topics in Cognitive Science. 7(1), 2-11.

Ortega, G. & Morgan, G. (2015). Phonological development in hearing learners of a sign language: The role of sign complexity and iconicity. Language Learning.

Orfanidou, E., Woll, B. & Morgan, G. (2015). Research Methods in Sign Language Studies: A Practical Guide. Wiley-Blackwell.

Sign segmentation  - click here for more information

Orfanidou, E., Adam, R., McQueen, S. & Morgan, G. (2015). Segmentation of British Sign Language (BSL): Mind the gap! Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Cocks, N., Dipper, L., Pritchard, M. & Morgan, G. (2013). The impact of impaired semantic knowledge on spontaneous iconic gesture production. Aphasiology 

Adam, R., Orfanidou, E.,  McQueen, J & Morgan, G. (2012). Sign language comprehension: Insights from misperceptions of different phonological parameters. In R. Channon & H. Van der Hulst. Formational Units in the Analysis of Signs. Ishara Press. (pp 87-106).  

Cocks, N., Morgan, G. & Kita, S. (2011). Iconic gesture and speech integration in younger and older adults. Gesture 11, 24–39.

Dipper, L., Cocks, N., Rowe, M & Morgan, G. (2011). What can co-speech gestures in aphasia tell us about the relationship between language and gesture?: A single case study of a participant with Conduction Aphasia. Gesture, 11, 2, 123–147

Cocks, N,. Dipper, L., Middleton, R. & Morgan, G. (2011). What can iconic gestures tell us about the language system?  A case of conduction aphasia. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 46, 423–436

Botting, N., Riches, N., Gaynor, M., Morgan, G. (2010). Gesture production and comprehension in children with specific language impairment. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 28, 51-69

Cocks, N., Sautin, L., Kita, S., Morgan, G. & Zlotowitz, S. (2009) Gesture and speech integration: An exploratory study of a man with aphasia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 44, 795-804.

Orfanidou, E., Adam, R., Morgan, G., & McQueen, J.M. (2010)
Segmentation in signed and spoken language: different modalities, same segmentation procedures. Journal of Memory and Language v62, 272-283

Orfanidou, E., Adam, R.  McQueen, J. & Morgan, G. (2009). Making sense of nonsense in British Sign Language (BSL): The contribution of different phonological parameters to sign recognition. Memory and Cognition 37, 302-315