animal_communication_and_human_language_lecture.2

animal_communication_and_human_language_lecture.2 - Animal...

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Unformatted text preview: Animal Communication and Human Language Lecture 2 Language versus Communication • A language is a dynamic set of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them. (http://www.wikipedia.org/). The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community. (http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/language) A systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings (http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/language) • • • • • Dog barking Chimp facial grimace Bird song Bee dance • Dog Barking • A language is a dynamic set of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them. The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community. A systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings. • • Chimp facial grimace • A language is a dynamic set of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them. The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community. A systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings • • Parr, L.A., Waller, B.M., & Fugate, J. (2005) Emotional communication in primates: Implications for neurobiology. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15(6), 716-720. Primate facial grimace Bird Song • Calls – – Short simple sounds Warn of predators, express aggression, coordinate flight activity, feeding and nesting behaviors. • A language is a dynamic set of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them. The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community. A systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings) • Songs – – – – – Males sing Delimit territory Attract a mate Seasonal May be specific to situations • • Signaling qualities suggest not compositional per se. Rate of change may be important • • • • “Critical Period” Dialect http://www.newtonsapple.tv/video.php?id=1427 Bee-Dance • Used to communicate location of food source. – Round Dance: • 20 feet – Sickle Dance • 20-60 feet – Tail Wagging • > 60 feet • Note Shape and Angle, Vivacity – “productive”, but not creative – Arbitrary –perhaps vivacity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ijI-g4jHg So what makes human language unique ? • Set of properties • Design Features: Charles Hockett (1966) • Some shared by other communication systems • But the totality of these features is unique to human language • Tell us about what human language is like Charles Hockett (1916-2000) Design Features • Shared by all communication systems: • Mode of communication – Messages must be sent and received • Semanticity – Signal in a communication system have a meaning or function • Pragmatic Function – Serve some useful purpose Design Features • Shared by some animal communication systems • Interchangeability – Ability to both send and receive messages • Silk worm moth chemical communication –one way • Whistling moth only males • Cultural Transmission • Some part of the a communication system is learned through interaction with other users. – Contrast cricket, cow bird call versus whale, chimp, song bird Design Features • • Shared by some animal communication systems Arbitrariness – Form of the signal is not logically related to its meaning or function. • • • Dog’s Barred teeth –bite, non-arbitrary Lizard, snake, Frog, puff, iconic for “bigger” non-arbitrary But blueness of fence lizard –territorial ownership arbitrary – Form + Meaning = Linguistic Sign • Discreteness – Complex messages built up out of smaller parts. • • Most unitary message (e.g. Bird Song (has parts but only one meaning)) Bee dance different Ability to generate a large number of meaningful elements (words) from a few meaningless elements (sounds) – Duality of Patterning • Design Features • • Not found in animal communication Displacement – Ability to communicate about things that are not present. • Bees ? • Kanzi (Bonobo) (Spatial memory task) – Does it mean there is hidden food information about a hidden object ?) or – Go to this location, perform this act • Productivity – Rule based expression of infinite number or messages, and expression of novel ideas. • The ability of an individual to produce and understand messages that the individual has not been exposed to before by applying rules and combining together discrete components of language in new ways. Qualitatively or Quantitatively Different ? • What if an animal communication system shares all 9 features to a lesser degree ? – “Quantitative difference” • But if no system has all feature, may suggest a qualitative difference. • A communication system must has all these 9 features to be considered a “language” to date no animal communication system has been found to exhibit all nine features. Language • Natural Language – English, ASL, Navaho, Thai, Arabic, LSQ • Constructed Languages: – C++, Elvish, Galatica Basic, Esperanto A note on Signed Languages • Hockett’s (1966) Original Design Features: – Auditory-Vocal Channel Signed Languages thought to be pantomime Universal Made up Incapable of abstract thought ...
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