How are languages born? Why are languages the way that they are? Can specific characteristics of a person's language affect the way s/he thinks? I am interested in investigating these questions by looking to users of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), a young Central American language. Because NSL is so young, it is the perfect place to study how languages emerge and evolve as their earliest users acquire and use them. Due to the wide range of ages at which Deaf Nicaraguans acquired NSL, Nicaragua is also an ideal place to ask what effects atypical language acquisition can have on cognition. My current research seeks to compare NSL signers to homesigners, deaf individuals who do not have sign language, in order to learn how language grows at its birth, and how its users grow along with it.