What can we learn about language from children who grew up without it?
People are fascinated by stories of “feral children”, raised apart from human contact. Can these children ever learn language, once they’re found? And what does this tell us about the human language faculty?
Daniel and Ben take a critical look at the stories on this episode of Talk the Talk.
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Promo with Jane Hebiton
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Patreon extras for this episode
Cutting Room Floor 284: Feral Children coming soon
AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals
Scientists Taught A Robot Language. It Immediately Turned Racist.
An AI stereotype catcher
Google searches expose racial bias, says study of names
The ‘three black teenagers’ search shows it is society, not Google, that is racist
Meet the 8-year-old girl raised by monkeys
Girl found living with monkeys in Indian forest
Indian girl found in jungle was not living with monkeys, officials say
Elissa Newport: Contrasting Conceptions of the Critical Period for Language
Google Books link
The History of Herodotus
Erik The Flutemaker: Egyptian Flute (used with permission)
Erik’s YouTube channel
The King of Scotland’s Peculiar Language Experiment
A creepy 15th century language experiment took place on this island
Peter Mundy’s account of Emperor Akbar
Google Books link
The Critical Period for Language Acquisition and Feral Children
Wikipedia: Amala and Kamala
Starved, tortured, forgotten: Genie, the feral child who left a mark on researchers
The Heartbreaking Story Of Genie, A Feral Child Who Will Never Learn To Communicate
Feral Children in Fact and Fiction
Urban Dictionary: re-accommodate
Flight or fight? United’s ‘re-accommodation’ of passenger a colossal mistake
— Hassie L Buckner (@rockingrobin2) 11 April 2017
United C.E.O. offers the worst possible response to the airline’s P.R. disaster
New United logo
The Rice University Neologisms Database: voluntold
Slate: Why Do We Hate Certain Words? The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
Urban Dictionary: jawn
The Enduring Mystery Of ‘Jawn’, Philadelphia’s All-Purpose Noun
Read This: The history of “jawn,” Philadelphia’s favorite all-purpose word
Funky 4+1 Thats The Joint (Vinyl High Quality)
Language Hat: JAWN.
Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.