22 Apr 2007

The misused miracles of autism

There is a particularly brilliant man by the name of Christopher Taylor in North Yorkshire who can speak some twenty languages without effort. What makes it even more exceptional is that he was born with autism, a disorder that basically rewires the brain in such a way as to make social interaction with others difficult or impossible. Despite the handicap, some of the less afflicted autistic savants have some amazing mental gifts that put our 'normalcy' to shame. I found this video on YouTube that I'm sure will blow the socks off of any polyglot:

[Youtube.com] Part 2/4 Christopher & Language Acquisition (Linguistics)

Professor Neil Smith from UCL's Institute of Neural Cognitive Science uses the example of Chris to gather evidence to support Chomsky's theory of universal grammar. All the while as I was looking at the video of this amazing individual, I naturally thought what anyone obsessed with linguistic paleontology might be thinking...

Give him some undeciphered Minoan texts to chew on!

Arrrgh. I hate to see the talents of an autistic savant being so utterly wasted like this, hehe.


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