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--- JOEL MATTHEW PEARSON <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Tue, 7 Sep 1999, Nik Taylor wrote:
>
> > JOEL MATTHEW PEARSON wrote:
> > > I have to go with Boudewijn on this one.  There
> have been well-documented
> > > cases of children who were raised (singly or in
> pairs/groups) by abusive
> > > or psychotic parents who kept them isolated and
> never spoke to them,
> > > and in all cases they failed to develop
> language.
> >
> > But those were extremely small groups.  I think
> that, once you reach a
> > certain critical mass (my guess is a few dozen),
> language will
> > spontaneously develop.

Contact is the first communication for babies. I think other systems
follow if you had got started from somewhere. In abusive cases language
wont develop because of the lack of contact, not because of  lack
hearing speech. One my friend's mother tongue is sign language. He is
not deaf, but his both parents are.
Funny, in the book of Koko (gorilla) it has told she first used child
sign language then moved to grown up way to use sign language. Same
goes with human kids too (who are deaf or somet).

> Well, the first human language(s) had to come from
> somewhere, I guess.
> The questions for your hypothetical experimenter to
> answer are:  What
> is the critical mass, and what sort of time period
> are we talking
> about?  Would the original isolated group of
> children develop a full-
> blown language, given their 'hard-wiring', or would
> the development
> of a full-blown language take a few - or few hundred
> - generations
> to come about?
everything comes to fill needs, and has its reasons. It take one
generation. Of course the development never ends. if there's a thing
but no word, you gotta get word from anywhere.
What was that story about nicaraguan indian group which whole grown up
population died or left to city. Only small kids and old folk stayed.
Old ones had no teeth so kids learned to speak their language way never
used before. Try to say "plurar nouns isn't marked any more with
marvelous ways" without teeth.

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