The Family That Couldn’t Say Hippopotamus
The origins of language are not what inherited disorders seemed to suggest
By Elizabeth Svoboda
There is a family living in Britain, known only as the KE family, with a few members that can’t quite say words like “hippopotamus.” They know the words, but can’t get their mouth positions quite right, so their speech comes out garbled. Some family members have a hard time saying words in the right order, and others have trouble reciting words that begin with the same letter.