LINGUIST List 13.2096

Thu Aug 15 2002

Media: BBC Website, "First Lang Gene Discovered"

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


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  1. Martin Wynne, "First language gene discovered"

Message 1: "First language gene discovered"

Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 15:48:55 +0100
From: Martin Wynne <martin.wynneota.ahds.ac.uk>
Subject: "First language gene discovered"

An article on the BBC website reports claims to have found the language
gene. You can read it online at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2192969.stm.

The journalist seems to me to have confused grammatical and
articulatory ability. The article appears to claim that the gene
sequence in question controls facial muscles, yet a mistake in this
sequence causes agrammaticism.

The field of linguistics is summarised in the article:

"Scientists argue that there must be a genetic basis to speech and
language.

It is universal, complex and acquired almost instinctively by children
at a young age."

Discuss!
__
Martin Wynne
martin.wynneota.ahds.ac.uk
Linguistics Officer
Oxford Text Archive
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