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lingustic deja vu WAS reality?

From:Adam Walker <dreamertwo@...>
Date:Sunday, January 3, 1999, 17:51
>Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 15:46:04 PST
>Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...>
>From: "J. Barefoot" <lesfraises@...>
>Subject: Re: reality?
>To: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
>Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...> wrote:
>>On Sat, 2 Jan 1999 19:02:07 +0200 vardi <vardi@...> writes:
>>>> Would you care to expound on that?
>>>Always glad to expound:) Just as people often have the feeling that
>>>they've been in a particular place or situation before (deja vu), so
>>>feel sometimes that there's some inherent or innate aspect of
>>>That's why I mentioned about my little son: it often seems to me that
>>>already knows vastly more language than he's producing (not a
>>>revolutionary idea - the passive command of all learners is greater
>>>their active command). The way he deals with the language he's given
>>>seems more than repetition or the simple substition of items in
>>>sentences. And as for myself: I grew up in England, basically as a
>>>monolingual child, but with an awareness and some knowledge of Hebrew
>>>from a very early age. Again, I always felt there was more Hebrew
>>>"inside me," and the first time I came here (to Israel) when I was 16
>>>was talking fairly fluently within a few weeks. I'm not talking here
>>>about liking languages or being good at them, though I guess that's
>>>of it, but about a deeper connection to languages. That's what I
>>>by linguistic deja vu.
>>>Hope I made some sense.
>>> Shaul Vardi
>>You definitely did....that's sorta the way i felt when i was studying
>>my Yiddish final - as if the language was somewhere there in the back
>>my head and i was just "remembering" it or something....very scary,
>>cool. It's the vocab that's the problem, though :)
>>-Stephen (Steg)
>I get that with French sometimes. I think it's a language intuition
>shouldn't come as any surprise; we are human after all. What's eerie
>sometimes is that it seems to go beyond just understanding of grammar
>it goes even to a immediate understanding of the character of the
>language, however passive. Oftentimes I can't form the right French
>sentence, but I can definitely pick it out from amongst wrong ones.
This is weird. I have occasionally experienced the same thing with Chinese. "Just knowing" the right order or even weirder once or twice "just knowing" the right IDIOM. I'm by no means fluent in Chinese and it doesn't take a Chinese person five minutes to figure that so you ought to see their expressions when one of those rare moments occurs! Adam Walker
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