Showing posts with label Christopher Taylor. Show all posts

There’s a book by Smith & Tsimpli from 1.995 called “The Mind of a Savant : Language Learning and Modularity.”  This excerpt is f...

There’s a book by Smith & Tsimpli from 1.995 called “The Mind of a Savant : Language Learning and Modularity.” 

This excerpt is from the textbook “Introduction to Language” seventh edition, by Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams. 

His last name is not given in the textbook, though, but it sounds like him. 

Christopher has a nonverbal IQ between 60 and 70 and must live in an institution because he is unable to take care of himself. 

The tasks of buttoning a shirt, cutting his fingernails, or vacuuming the carpet are too difficult for him. 

However, linguists find that his “linguistic competence in his first language is as rich and sophisticated as that of any native speaker.” 

Furthermore, when given written texts in some fifteen to twenty languages, he translates them quickly, with few errors, into English. 

The languages include Germanic languages such as Danish, Dutch, and German; Romance languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; as well as Polish, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Turkish, and Welsh. 

He learned these languages from native speakers who used them in his presence, or from grammar books. 

Christopher loves to study and learn languages. 

Little else is of interest to him. 

His situation strongly suggests that his linguistic ability is independent of his general intellectual ability.