Download Animal Bodies, Human Minds: Ape, Dolphin, and Parrot by William A. Hillix PDF

By William A. Hillix

Several books chronicle makes an attempt, such a lot of them over the last forty years, to coach animals to speak with humans in a human-designed language. those books have regularly taken care of just one or species, or maybe one or a number of learn initiatives. we've got supplied a extra encompassing view of this box. We additionally are looking to strengthen what different authors, for instance Jane Goodall, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Penny Patterson, Birute Galdikas, and Roger and Deborah Fouts, so passionately exhibit approximately our accountability for our closest animal relatives.

This booklet surveys what used to be identified, or believed approximately animal language all through historical past and prehistory, and summarizes present wisdom and the talk round it. The authors determine and try to settle lots of the difficulties in examining the animal behaviours which were saw in reports of animal language skill.

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Extra resources for Animal Bodies, Human Minds: Ape, Dolphin, and Parrot Language Skills

Sample text

Chomsklo then asks: Suppose that we label these buttons, successively, PLEASE, GIVE, ME, FOOD. Do we now want to say that pigeons have been shown to have the capacity for language, in a rudimentary way? The Gardners, in an article reviewing such work, argue that virtually all of it apart from their own is undermined by a false analogy, in that researchers have labeled the symbols taught to Computer Understanding 39 apes with values derived from human languages, as in the pigeon example, then mistakenly concluding that the symbol correlated by the human researcher with a term of human language is being used by the ape with the properties of its human language correlate (pp.

The same logic applies to both people and nonhuman animals. If they have had similar grounding with a particular symbol, we can reasonably expect that there may be some core of meaning that is shared by human and animal. However, there are severe limits on that reasonable expectation. One problem is that humans have had extensive experiences with language itself; the word give (or other symbol glossed as give) has been read as well as heard many times, and has taken its place in an extensive linguistic framework.

The Gardners used signs, Rumbaugh used embossed keys (lexigrams) on a computer keyboard, and the Premacks' second method involved magnetized plastic symbols with which their chimpanzees could "write" sentences. Roger Fouts, a student of the Gardners, followed them in using simplified American Sign Language (ASL, or Ameslan), as did Francine Patterson with her gorilla, Koko, and Lyn Miles with her orangutan, Chantek. Thus simplified ASL has been the most popular method with apes. With marine mammals, Louis Herman and Ronald Schusterman used largescale arm movements and computer-generated sounds.

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