To the editor:
Lawrence Osborne (Oct. 24) recognizes that "only someone with the conscience of a Josef Mengele" would perform an experiment to see whether, if children grow up isolated on an island, they would develop a language. But he is dismayingly uncritical of the conscience of Judy Kegl, a linguist who has chosen not to teach "a more established sign system like American Sign Language" to deaf children at her experimental school in Nicaragua: "To preserve what Nicaragua's deaf have created, Kegl does not want to encourage the adoption of other idioms – even if that leaves the students unable to communicate with other deaf communities."
"We don't want to kill indigenous language," Kegl says. Evidently, she would rather kill the life prospects of these children, by leaving them unable to communicate with the outside world.
Professor of Philosophy
Back to the Story