Homochronous Heredity and the Acquisition of Language


THE question raised by Mr. Stuart-Menteath in NATURE of September 27 (page 524) is one of such general interest to all students of heredity that it is to be hoped that some authoritative expression of opinion will be forthcoming. Even in its present form the query involves the subject of the heredity of acquired characters, and it would be of the greatest importance to have experimental systematic observations carried out if such observations have not already been recorded. So far as my very limited acquaintance with the subject extends, I know of no such experiments. It would be desirable perhaps to widen the scope of the question, and to put it in this form: Take children of different nationalities, say German, French and English; allow them from infancy to hear all three languages indiscriminately. Is there any reason for believing that each child would show a predilection or greater facility for acquiring the language of its country?


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MELDOLA, R. Homochronous Heredity and the Acquisition of Language. Nature 62, 572 (1900). https://doi.org/10.1038/062572b0

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