Human and animal language

Mind Map by alvarez.luzgabri, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by alvarez.luzgabri over 5 years ago


The folowing concept map contains information about the differences between human and animal language

Resource summary

Human and animal language
  1. There are some special properties of human language
    1. Communicative and informative signals
      1. May be intentional and unintentional
        1. Your accent, movements and dressing code, among other elements communicate things about you unintentionally
          1. Words or sounds communicate intentionally
        2. Displacement
          1. Is the property of human language that allows language users to talk about things, events or places whose existence we cannot be even sure
            1. We can use language to talk about present, past and future
            2. Animal communication seems to be used exclusively in the moment.
              1. Animal communication lacks of this property
            3. Arbitrariness
              1. In human language there is no 'natural' connection between a linguistic form and its meaning
                1. Animals seem to have a finite set of signals to communicate, and there is non arbitrariness in it
                2. Productivity
                  1. Is the property humans have of continually creating new expressions and utterances.
                    1. This property is described also as creativity or open-endedness
                    2. Animals have limited signals ato communicate which is called fixed reference that cannot be manipulated
                    3. Cultural transmission
                      1. Humand acquire language in a culture with other speakers and not from parental genes. It is passed on from one generation to another
                        1. Animal are born with a set of pecific signals that are produced instinctively as their communication pattern
                      2. Chimpanzees and language
                        1. Non-human primates don't have a physically structured vocal tract suitable for articulating the sounds used in speed
                          1. Apes and gorillas can communicate with a wide range of vocal calls, but they cannot make human speech sounds
                            1. Several studies have been performed with cimps
                              1. Gua (1930s)
                                1. Was raised as a child. Was able to understand about a hundred words, but didn't say any of them.
                                2. Viki (1940s)
                                  1. Eventually produced some words poorly articulated
                                  2. Washoe
                                    1. In a period of three and a half years came to use signs for more than a hundred word, even showed the ability to combine them to produce 'sentences'.
                                    2. Sarah
                                      1. Was trained to use a set of plastic shapes for communicating with humans. Sarah was capable of producing 'sentenes' and to understand complex structures.
                                      2. Lana
                                        1. Was trained to learn a set of symbols on a large keyboard linked to a computer
                                      3. Based on studies it is argued that chimpanzees simply produce signs in response to the demands of people and tend to repeat the signs those people use, like performing sophisticated tricks in order to get rewards, not really communnicating or producing language.
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