LINGUIST List 11.993

Tue May 2 2000

Sum: Case of Genie

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Nobuko Koyama-Murakami, Case of Genie

Message 1: Case of Genie

Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 17:35:23 HST
From: Nobuko Koyama-Murakami <>
Subject: Case of Genie

For Query: Linguist 11.962

Dear Linguists,

Several people sent me some helpful information re: obtaining information 
about Genie. And several other people showed the same interest that I had 
about Genie. So here is the result of my query that I would like to share 
with those who showed interests.

The most recent article on Genie:

Jones, Peter E. 1995 Contradictions and unanswered questions in the Genie 
case: A fresh look at the linguistic evidence. Language and Communication, 
vol.15, No.3, pp.261-280.

There are three books by Russ Rymer, but it appears that all those three 
have the same content:

Russ, Rymer. 1993. Genie: Escape from a silent childhood. London: Michael 

- --. 1993. Genie: An abused child's flight from silence. New York: 
Harper Collins.

- --. 1994. Genie: A scientific tragedy. Harperperennial.

The portion of Rymer's book appeared in The New Yorker's serial on Genie. 
It is clear that Rymer himself never got to meet with Genie. Genie 
completely disappeared from people who used to know her. Rymer's book 
mentions that she is in the institution for retarded adults meeting with her 
mother occasionally.

 In reaction to his reports, there was some discussion on the linguist 
list on April 27, 1997 (which you can find in the archives of this list on 
the net). Since people are well aware of all the reports, books, articles 
on Genie and related research during 70's, I don't think that I have to 
mention any of those here.

 I realized that information about Genie's welfare is so scarce and (it 
seems) there is just no way to find out how she is right now. I did some 
research through internet, but I found nothing new. It seems so impossible 
to find MORE beyond what everyone knows (beyond NOVA's documentary and 
Rymer's book). When I showed the video footage of Genie to my introductory 
linguistics class, many students expressed their concern about Genie's 
welfare at the preset. I was hoping that I would be able to find some 
"good" news about Genie's welfare, but the above is all I have got.

 Lastly, my thanks to those who provided me with information!

Nobuko Koyama-Murakami
Dept of Linguistics
University of Hawaii or
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