Re: [Fwd: Laboratory experiments with Language and CNS]

Ton Maas (
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 08:05:27 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102801b1a27df5e3f7@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 08:05:27 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Laboratory experiments with Language and CNS]

Bob Grimes wrote:
>phonemes of their native language and to ignore the
>differences among foreign sounds. Children don't lose the
>ability to distinguish the sounds of a foreign language;
>they simply don't pay attention to them. "

The research I referred to earlier, showed that children very probably _do_
lose that capacity, since they are no longer able to make the right
distinctions and get the reward in the lab test.

Let me add to that a rather inapropriate story: My wife is Polish and when
we visited her home town a few weeks ago, friends informed us about one
particular party where a few women were testing how far they could
"swallow" a cucumber. I assume silly games are played everywhere, so this
is in no way intended to make fun of the Polish :-) Anyway, when they told
me this story, I informed them that had my wife been present, she would
probably have won the contest. When she was learning to speak Dutch a few
years ago, I assisted her in getting the typical Dutch "hard" g-sound
right, by telling her to feel out the location where one makes a "k" and
then go a bit deeper. To which she commented: "But I _can't_ go any deeper,
or else I'll throw up!" I then realized that we Dutch have effectively
desensitized part of our throat, just by speaking this silly language. For
this reason we happen to be very good at gastroscopy and maybe a few other
neat tricks ....


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