LINGUIST List 14.2926

Sun Oct 26 2003

Qs: Genetic Lang Skills

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>

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  1. Dick Hudson, A "gene" for hyper-polyglottism??

Message 1: A "gene" for hyper-polyglottism??

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 11:19:33 +0100
From: Dick Hudson <>
Subject: A "gene" for hyper-polyglottism??

Dear Linguist-List, 

Some time ago I broadcast a query about the 'world record' for
learning foreign languages (Linguist 7.861.2), and in my summary
(Linguist 7.881) I identified an Italian cardinal called Mezzofante as
the probable record-holder. I've just had a message from another
Mezzofante and wondered whether anyone knows of research supporting
the idea of a genetic basis for skill in learning lots of languages -
the reverse of Selective Language Impairment, I suppose? If there's
no such research, maybe there should be?

Best wishes, Dick Hudson

Richard (= Dick) Hudson

Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London,
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