An idioglossia is an idiosyncratic language invented and spoken by only one person or very few people. Most often, idioglossia refers to the "private languages" of young children, especially twins, the latter being more specifically known as cryptophasia, and commonly referred to as twin talk or twin speech.
Children who are exposed to multiple languages from birth are also inclined to create idioglossias, but these languages usually disappear at a relatively early age, giving way to use of one or more of the languages introduced.
- Sam and Ren McEntee, 17-month-old twins, featured in ABC News
- June and Jennifer Gibbons
- Kennedy twins of San Diego, California, who were subjected to intensive study, including an exhaustive analysis of their language. (They named themselves "Poto and Cabengo")
- The 1994 film Nell, starring Jodie Foster, depicts a woman who speaks an idioglossia. The stage play on which it is based is also called Idioglossia.
- The concept album The Perfect Element, part I, by Pain of Salvation, is centered around a song "Idioglossia".
- James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake was written using an idioglossia.
- Skins Series 3 Episode 9 shows Katie and Emily Fitch using an idioglossia.
- Vocalizations used by Karl Jenkins on his Adiemus series of albums are not proper idioglossia, since they serve merely as an instrument, conveying no meaning. The same is the case for the Vonlenska (Hopelandic) language employed by Icelandic group Sigur Rós.
- Sherri and Terri on The Simpsons sometimes use an idioglossia.
- The two teenage protagonists of the film Disco Pigs, Darren and Sinéad, use an idioglossia.
- Singer Lisa Gerrard sings many of her songs in an idioglossia that she has developed since the age of twelve.
- Characters Jim and Tim Possible from the Disney Channel series Kim Possible often use twinspeak.
- Twins Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold from The Baby-Sitters Club book series used this early on.
- in the 2005 Law & Order: SVU episode "Identity," teenage twins Logan and Lindsay Stanton (Reiley McClendon) speak to each other in twin language while both are being interrogated in a murder investigation by Detectives Stabler and Benson (Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, respectively). The detectives immediately order them to stop.
- Bakker, P. (1987). "Autonomous languages of twins". Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae (Roma) 36 (2): 233–238. PMID 3434134.
- Home sign, a similar phenomenon among sign languages
- Unwinese spoken by British comedian Stanley Unwin
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