Linguistic Theory about Cryptophasia

To build up a linguistic theory about Cryptophasia, one has to consider what the results of the examples testify. Jon Lackman states that all developed twin languages have a similar structure, which is not linked to the language that is spoken at home. Peter Bakker from Aarhus University in Denmark found out that the twin-language structure is unlike that of any established language and its syntax does not show any typical mistakes that are done by children who learn their mother tongue.

First of all it has been shown that twin language can be considered as a very simplified language, which consists more or less out of sounds, noises and a few words. This is quite similar to languages of native tribes, who sometimes also develop a very simple form of communication, like the Pirahã language, that I encountered in former researches, who e.g. do not use any tenses. It is quite similar to the twin languages in the respect that they just use a form of language that is necessary enough to build up a communication system. What can be seen is that the twins freely mix subjects, verbs, and objects, and putting the most important item first in any context. Jon Lackman found out that in an Estonian study a child said in his private language, "Again I foyer toward write come" (Jon Lackman, 2011). In the Estonian Grammer the right word order would be "I come again to the foyer to write". Another peculiarity is that verbs are not conjugated and that there is no past or future tense in most cases. And finally, twin languages almost never use any pronouns, just proper names. Some of the other examples that I have given in the youtube videos show some extreme forms of "invented languages", especially the ones where the twins use clicking sounds and the other one were they build up some kind of noise, which originates in their throat. Although both of these examples have English as their mother tongue at home, they use a total different method of interaction. Hence, this stresses again that Cryptophasia is not linked to the language spoken at home.

The occurrence of Cryptophasia makes twins look like they have exceeded the requirement of human companionship other than with their twin, in which they have formed a bond closer to their sibling than anyone other could have achieved. A secretive language of one's own is the ultimate bond of closeness in a relationship.

Jon Lackman quoted the French novelist Michel Tournier, who once wrote that: "when two individuals laugh together - and only then - they come near to the mystery of cryptophasia. At such times they are using a pseudo-language, laughter, based on a common ground - stemming from a concatenation of shared experience - which, unintelligible in itself, has as its function to narrow the distance between their respective positions" (qtd. in Lackman's "Dugon, Haus You Dinikin, Du-Ah"). I think this describes the twin-language quite nicely, since in such moments of laughter, the persons involved understand each other very well, without the need to decode the laugh of the other.

 

Scroll to the top