Chomsky was right that language is hard-wired into humans, but it seems that non-verbal communication is just as much part of human language as verbal communication. There’s a Simpsons episode where Maggie’s baby noises are translated by a machine into simple speech. This is better: babies as young as six months old can communicate with sign language. The language areas of a baby’s brain are functioning long before the vocal cords develop enough for speech.
This is very impressive. What sort of impact will this have on a child's mental development? How will this change people's attitudes to non-human signers like <a href="http://www.koko.org/">Koko</a> and the teaching of sign language in general? Link: <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/features/2299895.stm">How baby signing aids communication</a>