[Pdx-pm] Lisp class

Ben Kirkpatrick ben at pdx.net
Sun May 1 10:53:44 PDT 2005

> Really? can you name some of these studies which say that this ability 
> is progressively degenerative with age beyond a fairly young cut-off for 
> early childhood language acquisition?

In the studies I've seen, a child learning a language has a better chance
of speaking it with the same accent as a native.  An adult would have to
spend a lot of time with a therapist to get the details correct.

At the same time, there were studies that showed that an adult can
actually learn a language _much_ faster than children (purely in number
of hours sent).  There were two factors that probably caused this, time is
worth more to adults, and children know no shame.

So it really means that as you age you are less likely to perfect/acquire
a new language.  But there is certainly no accounting for determination.

As an aside, I seem to remember a story about a Hungarian gentleman who
taught himself Icelandic from a single book.  He wrote letters to many
people in Iceland and eventually travelled there.  He was received as some
kind of extra-national hero for having perfect command of the language.


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