Writing Assignment 3

Writing Assignment 3 - Rebekah Lochte Take Home Essays #3...

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Rebekah Lochte Take Home Essays #3 1) What, if anything, is unique about human language compared to the communicative systems of other animals? Justify your answer with specific evidence/examples. In order to answer this question, I think that I should first define the differences between language and communication. Language has a set of rules and discrete, known, sounds with meaning. while, communication can be through any means and does not have any rules. A person can convey an emotion through either language by talking to someone about it or through communication by allowing someone to see he or she cry. Humans have language and other animals have communication. Chomsky discussed the concept “discrete infinity.” This term basically means that there are only a certain number of elements but from those, people can create an infinite number of combinations. Obviously, though, our ability to remember what we are talking about limits the number of words in one sentence. Different primates use different calls to warn others about an incoming predator. These calls are no doubt a means of communication; however, because each species only has a few calls, if that many, I would not consider it language. These calls are much too limited. From the research I did for my research paper, I have learned that some animals, like birds, learn their songs similar to how children learn language. Birds have a critical period to learn their song, and if they do not learn it during
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course ANT 385 taught by Professor Stout during the Fall '11 term at Emory.

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Writing Assignment 3 - Rebekah Lochte Take Home Essays #3...

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