Xenoglossy

The researches have also unveiled many cases of xenoglossy, the ability to understand and speak a language that has not been learned in the current lifetime, but which was known to the subject in his or her prior life. This is a remarkable aspect of the investigations since language skills, so far as is known, is not something which is transmitted genetically or telepathically.

The term Xenoglossy was first used by the French physiologist Charles Richet (1850-1935) to describe the ability of a woman in a particular case study who was able to write in Greek, a language that she did not learn or understand. Dr. Ian Stevenson and his colleagues have studied a number of cases in connection with their studies in reincarnation.

There are two types of xenoglossy: recitative and responsive. Recitative xenoglossy is the ability to recite passages in a foreign language, while responsive xenoglossy refers to cases where the subject is able to converse interactively in that language which has not been learned in the current life. (See Stevenson, Ian and Satwant Pasricha, “A Preliminary Report of an Unusual Case of the Reincarnation Type with Xenoglossy.“)

Below are online journal articles on cases of Xenoglossy:

Stevenson, Ian, “A Preliminary Report of a New Case of Responsive Xenoglossy.” Journal of the American Society of Psychical Research, Vol. 70, July 1976.

Stevenson, Ian and Satwant Pasricha, “A Preliminary Report of an Unusual Case of the Reincarnation Type with Xenoglossy.” Journal of the American Society of Psychical Research, Vol. 74, July 1980.

Books:

Stevenson, Ian. Xenoglossy: A Review and Report of a Case. University of Virginia Press, 1974.

Stevenson, Ian, Unlearned Language: New Studies in Xenoglossy, University of Virginia Press, 1984.

 

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