19 November 2009

Linguistics the final frontier

Minnesotan D'Armond Speers has been on a three-year mission in which he boldly split infinitives where no man had split them before

For three years Speers, a software consultant and expert in computational linguistics, spoke only Klingon to his son as part of an experiment to understand how children learn languages.

"I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language. He was definitely starting to learn it."

D'Armond's wife spoke in standard English.

D'Armond has since landed a job with an internet software company creating a dictionary in Klingon for use in language applications on mobile phones and computers

Hmm I wonder what his Kindergarten chums will think when Speers Minor calls them P’tachs!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It will beinteresting to see if the child remembers it as he grows.

jams o donnell said...

Or if he has a desire to eat Gakh and heart of Targ!

Stan said...

Curious story. Apparently the experiment was 'a dud', but I wonder if the child might have retained some Klingon after all. Maybe it will emerge in an unstoppable torrent of rough oaths on his wedding night.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Stan but hopefully not as the violence of Klingon sex!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

There is another, not so funny aspect of the story: the kid could be pretty well traumatized by nowm suffering from years of dad's stupid experimenting.

jams o donnell said...

That's true Snoopy