rm (rm) wrote in little_details,

reacquiring speech after 30 years of silence

A normal girl of normal ability is removed from her home at age four, and put in an environment where speaking is not allowed. Children who makes words or sounds are punished to discourage it; being chosen for this is prestigious, and otherwise involves a high quality of life, so excessive rebellion isn't really part of things. Her daily living environment is silent and invlves communication via hand signs, but she is exposed to a few hourss of speech from outsiders probably several times a week. She lives in this environment for decades.

If removed from that environment say, thirty years later, not entirely willingly, would she be capable of regaining speech? How long would it take? Would it be limited to words she had been comfortable with before she became entirely silent?

I'm interested in physiological and psychological aspects of this, and should also note the book has a fantasy setting that does not include any sort of audio/visual mass media and has a level of technological achievement one could place somewhere in the 19th century for comparison.

Previous searches I have conducted have only yielded information on children who never acquired language in teh first place or were otherwise cut off from all exposure to speech.

Can anyone take a stab at this one?
Tags: ~child development (misc), ~languages (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry (misc)

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