Most of my early work compared signed and spoken language acquisition. More recently I have been looking at the existence of SLI in signing children and gestures in hearing people with language difficulties. This research is starting to reveal common and differing patterns of breakdown. My other major long standing interest has been in the relationship between language and cognitive development and this has taken me into research into the role of language in childrens Theory of Mind skills. The next work in this theme will be looking at the role of language experience in the development of executive functions and working memory and how children learn about iconicity. In other research I have been exploring how signed languages have evolved from co-speech gesture and what role language development has played during this transition.

Click here - to go to our research centre funded by the ESRC

ESRC - Economic & Social Research Council

Papers on sign language and gesture - most are downloadable, contact me for copies if not.

Language development 

Early signs - phonology

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

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.

Grammar and vocabulary

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

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. & 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., 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

BSL narrative discourse and development

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). 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

Executive functions


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

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

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

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. 4461)

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.

Atypical sign language and development 

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

Herman, R., JA, KM, K.R, B.W, & Morgan, G. (in press). 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.

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  

Sign Language Processing

Sign segmentation  - click here for more information

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).

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


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

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

Cocks, N., Morgan, G. & Kita, S. (2011). Iconic gesture and speech integration in younger and older adults. Gesture 11, 2439.

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, 123147

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, 423436

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.