Despite not speaking French, a New Zealand scrabble player won the French World Scrabble Championships twice by studying the French dictionary for 9 weeks.
The town of Booneville, California created its own “language” called Boontling around the turn of the turn of 20th century. Fewer than 100 speakers remain.
A 1992 Japanese TV show combined English lessons with gymnastic exercise programs. On the show, three gymnasts would perform synchronized exercises while chanting phrases like, “Hasta la vista, baby,” “Spare me my life!”, “I was robbed by two men!”, and “I have a bad case of diarrhea.”
No matter the language, we all exchange information at 39 bits/second, suggesting a biological limit. Languages that are lower information density are spoken fast (Spanish & Japanese) while denser languages are spoken more slowly (Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese).
Dolphins have a highly developed spoken language, similar to the human language. This indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins. In addition to this, dolphin brains are somewhat larger and more complex than human ones.
Prairie dog language is complex. They don’t just have a call for “danger”: their calls differentiate human, hawk, domesticated dog, coyote etc. and specify size & color. One study found that they can communicate “Here comes the short human in the yellow” (vs the tall human in blue) to each other.
Linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin made the claim that there is no language in which a double positive implies a negative during a lecture. To which someone responded, “Yeah, yeah.”
In 1923 Illinois officially passed legislation replacing English with ‘American’ as their official language, making it the only state in the Union where people legally ‘speak American’.
People whose mother language is anumeric (a language that has no way of expressing arbitrary numbers) struggle to compare and remember the exact size of collections of as little as four objects. This suggests that numeric abilities are intrinsically related to linguistic abilities.
Up to 50% of young twins develop a secret language that can not be understood by others. The phenomenon is called cryptophasia and is thought to be created to communicate when one of the twins develop language slower than the other.