Word definition: the putative paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak or write a language he or she could not have acquired by natural means.
Etymology: Charles Richet who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1913, coined the term xenoglossy in 1905.
Xenoglossy (/ˌziːnəˈɡlɒsi, ˌzɛ-, -noʊ-/, also written xenoglossia (/ˌziːnəˈɡlɒsiə, ˌzɛ-, -noʊ-), sometimes also known as xenolalia, is the putative paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak or write a language he or she could not have acquired by natural means. The words derive from Greek ξένος (xenos), “foreigner” and γλῶσσα (glōssa), “tongue” or “language”
Technical description: Dr Ian Stevenson defines xenoglossy as `speaking a real language entirely unknown to [the speaker] in his ordinary state’ As Stevenson notes there are numerous published reports of cases of xenoglossy, but most of them contain too little information to permit a test of their validity.
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/forms-of-inspiration/xenoglossy/
Cross-cultural comparisons: Stories of xenoglossy are found in the Bible.
Relevance of the concept: Knowledge that cannot find its origin in a personal memory.
Supporting evidence: Ian Stevenson’s Unlearned Language: New Studies in Xenoglossy (1984)
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