A Youtube video of two 17-month-old twins chatting and laughing with each other has gone viral in the past two days, with many blogs speculating about what babies might be discussing. An ABC News report said they spoke a “secret twin language”. But did these twins really create their secret language out of nothing?
One language development expert says no. Like most twins who communicate in a high level language, they don’t actually speak their own language. But toddlers provide a lot of information about how babies learn to communicate.
“These two adorable 17-month-olds exaggerate what most babies show, but they’re usually nowhere near as developed,” said Virginia Valian, head of the Research Center for Language Studies at Hunter College in New York. “The repeated repetition of muttering – all this “yes-yes-yes” – is very common. Among hearing children, this is universal, although most children do not take it to the extreme,” Valian said.