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Isolates & Feral children

Isolates & Feral children

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Isolates & Feral children

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  1. Isolates & Feral children When the agents of Socialization are absent

  2. What is a Feral child? • Feral (Latin: fera = wild animal)= “wild“, undomesticated • Feral children: human children who, from a very young age, have lived in isolation from human contact and have remained unaware of human social behavior and unexposed to human language

  3. The Critical Period Hypothesis(Lenneberg, 1967) • In order to acquire language, there are two necessary requirements: 1. A human brain2. Sufficient exposure to language during this critical period between the age of 2 years and puberty

  4. There are 3 types of feral children: • Isolated children- children who have survived in the wild without human or animal assistance • Confined children- Abusive homes; children are deprived of social human contact & are kept locked up • Children raised by animals- wolves, dogs, etc

  5. 1. Isolated children Wild Peter- Found 1724, at the age of 13, in Hameln, Germany Was never able to speak properly, learned only a few words: “Peter“, “wild man“, “bow-wow“ (dog) Peter died in England in 1785 Victor of Avalon- Found 1799, in France at age 11 Majority of his communication consisted of grunts and howls Died in Paris in 1828

  6. 2. Confined Children • Isabelle- The illegitimate child had been kept in isolation by her grandfather and was fed by her deaf-mute mother (and communicated with her through gestures) • Found 1938 at the age of six in Ohio • Astonishing progress: Day O -> first vocalization2 mths. -> putting sentences together11 mths. -> able to identify written words, to add to ten and to retell a story18 mths. -> able to ask complicated questions; vocabulary of about 1,500 – 2,000 words  Reached a normal mentality by the age of eight and a half years

  7. Confined Children- Genie • From the age of 20 months, straped to a potty by a special harness for most of the day • Her father did not speak to her but communicated through barking • Found in November 1970, at the age of 13, in California, she could not stand erect and was unable to speak except 2 words: “Stopit“, “Nomore“ • 1970: one-word utterances, e.g. “No.No.Cat.“ [13 y.] • 1971: her language resembled that of a normal 18-20 months old child (one year after her discovery) • Present condition: speech development is not perfect, but she can utter the most things she wants to; lives in an adult foster home in California

  8. 3. Children raised by animals Kamala and Amala • The “wolf children“ Kamala (8y.) and Amala (2y.) had been living with a family of wolves in a cave in a jungle in India • In 1920, they were discovered in Midnapore, by Reverend Singh who took charge of them • Remained on all fours, enjoyed raw meat • Bit and attacked other children if provoked • Amala died in September 1921, Kamala in 1929 • Within 5 years of orphanage, Kamala acquired a Bengali - vocabulary of more than 40 words: “ha“ (yes), “hoo“ (cold); she was also able to name objects

  9. Children raised by animals Oxana Malaya • From 3-8 lived with the family dogs in kennel • In 1991, the “dog child“ was found in Ukraine, barking and crawling on all fours • At an orphanage school, she was taught to walk upright, to eat with her hands and to acquire language; • 2006: at the age of 23, she is able to speak, but there is no cadence or rhythm or inflection to her speech; she can count but not add up • Today, she works as a cowgirl

  10. Timetable of cases