Classically, speaking in a language that one has never had an opportunity to learn through the mundane means. ="speaking in tongues".

A charismatic gift according to some belief systems. A few groups have interpreted the gift of speaking in tongues to mean being able to babble nonsensically.

audited 7/22/00 by ModernAngel

Any meaningless speech is called glossolalia.

In the novel, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, glossolalia was the core language of the brain, below the high level languages like English. A nefarious type who could learn that language would have a direct line to program your brain however they like.

Linguistic research on this phenomenon has shown that speakers do not produce sounds that are not present in their own languages, and rarely produce sound combinations that are not present in their own languages. If they are speaking another language, then that language has exactly the same sounds as their native language. This is unlikely at best.

Glos`so*la"li*a (?), Glos*sol"a*ly (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. tongue + talk: cf. F. glossolalie.]

The gift of tongues. Farrar.


© Webster 1913.

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