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Unformatted text preview: Exam 1 Wednesday, September 05, 2007 8:29 AM Chapter 2: Animals and Human Language Do animals understand spoken language? • Whoa to horses --> they stop • Heel to dogs --> they follow the heel Communicative and informative signals • Communicative signals are intentional, and they are used to provide information explicitly. • Informative signals are behaviors that unintentionally provide information. Properties of human language • Displacement- - we can refer things that are not immediately present. • Another form of displacement is talking about things that have ambiguous existences • Also, lying, or saying any false statement, would also be in the category • Arbitrariness -- we can talk about things by using symbols. • Means there is no natural connection • The words are the symbols since they don't relate directly to the thing being referred to. • Animals, as far as we know, are incapable • Productivity —we can create an infinite number of utterances, even though we only have a limited number of words. • Fixed reference - the limiting feature in animal language • They did an experiment with bees, where they put the hive up higher, but the bees couldn't communicate with the other bees to tell them that it was up. • A language is passed on from one generation to the next through the process of cultural transmission. • The two simultaneous levels of human language are the level of sound production and the level of meaning. This is known as duality or double articulation. • Cultural Transmission • Last chapter spoke about the innateness hypothesis - we have a genetic predisposition to learn languages. • However, WHICH language we learn is determined by the culture. • We acquire this as children. • Duality • Limited sounds with infinite possibilities • Different meanings for different combinations of sounds Animals Do animals understand human words? Or do they respond to a particular sound-stimulus or noise? Do animal produce human sounds or words? Does one animal produce another animal sound? Chimpanzees and language • The chimpanzee has 99% of its basic genetics in common with humans. • Non-human primates do not have a physically structured vocal tract suitable for producing human sounds. • In early attempts to teach chimpanzees human language, people raised chimps in their home. Washoe • Beatrix and Allen Gardner taught ASL (American Sign Language) to Washoe (raised like a human)....
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2009 for the course COMD 2050 taught by Professor Collins during the Spring '08 term at LSU.
- Spring '08
- The Canterbury Tales