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Languages with Few Speakers Idioglossia or Twin Speech

About the language Idioglossia or twin speech sometimes developed by isolated sets of twins, examples and history.

RARELY HEARD LANGUAGES

IDIOGLOSSIA

"Dug-on, haus you dinikin, du-ah."

"Snup-aduh ah-wee die-dipana, dihabana."

Only twins Grace and Virginia Kennedy of San Diego, Calif., know what the above means, because it is an example of their very own language, called "twin speech," or an "idioglossia," by speech therapists. The development of such a language is very rare, occurring among twins who have had little or no contact with other children. These six-year-old identical twins suffered seizures after birth and, were considered to be retarded. But upon examination by therapists in the summer of 1977, it was discovered that along with their own language, the girls understood English and German, though they spoke neither. Grace and Virginia have also learned sign language to help them communicate with teachers.

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