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Word Count: 405
Russ Rymers A Silent Childhood portrays the story of a feral child named Genie With the discovery of feral children various experts have wondered Will feral children ever be able to fully grasp the grammatical structures of a language In hope of answering this question scientists turned the life of Genie into a personal laboratory Genie having lived for eleven of her thirteen years in virtual solitary confinement was undertaken by a number of professionals Rymer 1992 p 43 Doctors psychologists and neurologists were among many specialists that took Genie under their wing As with most feral children who are discovered Genies vocabulary was very restricted Her vocabulary comprised only a few words probably fewer than twenty Rhymer 1992 p 43 Many people felt if Genie were put in the correct environment overtime she would eventually be capable of speaking fluent English After Genie was released from the hospital she became the interest of local doctors and scientists Rhymer 1992 p43 These people included David Rigler Jay Shurley Susan Curtiss and Jean Butler Along with time Genie began to progress in her abilities She became accustomed to eating and going to the bathroom on her own Genie could also communicate very well and categorize Genie even learned the differences between singular and plural nouns positive and negative sentences and she understood yes-or-no questions Rhymer 1992 p 55 Despite all of her success Genie could not master grammar She could do all these things that are supposed to be related to grammatical structures but she couldnt get grammar Rhymer 1992 p58 Nor could she ask a real question Rhymer 1992 p57 She was a very communicative person But despite trying she never mastered the rules of grammar never could use the little pieces the word endings for instance Rhymer 1992 p66 Faced with Genes failure many scientists have fallen back on the explanation put forward by her father that she was retarded Rhymer 1992
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