according to Mr. Hale
, in what he calls “the language-making instinct of very young children.”
There were born near Boston
in 1860 twin boys, who were peculiarly devoted to each other.
They began to talk at the usual age, but the language they talked was not even so near to English as is usual in such cases — in fact, it was not English at all. They made up a jargon of their own, and entirely refused to speak anything else.
Their mother could not really understand it, but only guessed at what was essential; yet they perfectly understood one another, so that it was, for all purposes of communication, a complete language.
At last they were sent to school, where they learned English as a foreign tongue, and forgot their own prattle, only one word of which, unluckily, was preserved.
The matter was not made public till eighteen years afterwards, when it was described by Miss E. H. Watson
, of Boston
, in an essay on the origin of language, prefaced to her edition of a work by her father, the late George Watson
, on “The structure of language.”
did not herself observe the children, but had the facts afterwards from the mother, and her statements attracted little attention.
It happened fortunately, however, that in the interval between these facts and their record a series of more exact observations was made and published by an Albany physician, Dr. E. R. Hun
In a periodical