Linguistics Department

Jenny Singleton

ProfessorPh.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jenny Singleton



Sign Language Acquisition; Sign Language Disorders; Language Disfluency; Infant gaze behavior; Deaf Seniors


Jenny Singleton studies signed language acquisition in both typical and atypical contexts. Looking at American Sign Language, in particular, she examines child characteristics, as well as adult language socializing practices, especially involving eyegaze behavior. For many deaf children, acquiring a signed language occurs outside the home, in a school setting, and not from their parents. This creates a unique primary language learning environment that informs language science about the language-making capacity (or resilience) of the child as well as the quality and frequency of the linguistic input needed for successful acquisition to take place. Dr. Singleton also conducts research on "sign language disorders" exhibited in deaf child signers and how atypical hearing learners (e.g., those with language or learning impairments) learn a sign language as a second language.  Finally, Dr. Singleton has expanded her research to include older deaf adult signers ("Deaf Seniors"), taking interest in their social resilience, technology use, and how cognitive decline may impact sign language comprehension and production.


LIN 373 • Child Language

40145 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM SAC 5.102

This course explores how children acquire their first language(s). The purpose of this course is to give you a solid foundation in current research and theories regarding language development in infants and children.

You will also learn about the basic techniques that are used to analyze and understand children’s linguistic development. Some of the questions we will address are: How do children learn to recognize and produce the sounds of their language? How does language differ from the communication systems of other species and why? Do all children develop in the same way? Why are adults so much worse than children at learning languages? Do children understand sentences and words they can't say? Do children say sentences they can't understand? How can we tell?

This course will cover the basic questions relevant to the acquisition of pragmatics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics; it will introduce you to issues such as bilingualism, language impairment, and language and cognition - and there will be space to discuss any relevant questions regarding language acquisition that students bring to the table.


LIN 389V • Rsch In Signed Languages

40190 • Spring 2019
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM RLP 4.104

This research course is designed to expose the student to trends and theories within the field of signed language linguistics.  Students will learn about various approaches for collecting and analyzing developmental and adult data.  Discussions will cover key details of documentary, behavioral, and instrumental studies, and students will be exposed to various methods of data analysis.  Various statistical approaches will be addressed, as appropriate.  Students will also learn about aspects of preparing for and delivering presentations and publishing research findings.

Profile Pages

  • Department of Linguistics

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street STOP B5100
    Robert L. Patton Hall (RLP) 4.304
    Austin, TX 78712