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October 7, 2021 58 min

Scottish King James IV was, by all accounts, a learned man. As a polyglot, he was especially interested in the origin of language -- so much so, in fact, that he allegedly conducted an experiment that would scandalize modern scientists: James had two children spirited off to the remote island of Inchkeith, where they were raised without language by a mute caretaker. While historians still debate whether this actually occurred, James wasn't the first guy to try it out. He, like his predecessors, wanted to see whether the kids would speak a 'natural' or 'original' language on their own.

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