ANIMAL LANGUAGECOMMUNICATION Group Members: Ahsen Aamir Murad Jawaria Hameed Kanza Afzal Saad Nasir Chandna Presented to: Dr. Zeenat Ismael Dated : 25th November 2010
Communication “Communication consists of exchanges of information between a sender and a receiver using a code of specific signals that usually serve to meet common challenges (reproduction, feeding, protection) and, in group-living species, to promote cohesiveness of the group.” (Vauclair,1996)
Characteristics of language interchangeability specialization discreteness arbitrariness of units displacement semanticity productivity traditional (cultural) transmission
Concept of animalcommunication Without question, nonhuman animals DO communicate. Most species send signals, issue warnings, respond to threats, share the location for food etc. While a concept of communication is too broad, a concept of “speech” is too narrow for considering the form of information transferring in animals.
ApproachesThree main experimental approaches have been employed for studying animals language communication. Direct decoding of animals‟ communication Use of intermediary languages for communication with animals. Application of ideas and concepts of information processing theory.
First approach (decoding of animals‟ communication) Two types of natural communication systems have been deciphered till now: Fragments of honeybees “dance language” Acoustic signalization in various species The decoded “words” concern alarm calls, calls for cohesion and signals about food. Honeybees appear to interpret the meaning of messages they receive. The wild acoustic communication does not meet several important linguistic criteria such as displacement and productivity.
Second approach(dialogue with animals) An intermediary language is devised to communicate with animals in language- training programs. Dialogue with animals has revealed astonishing „linguistic potential‟ in them. Properties of developed- language such as categorization, creativity and displacement have been observed.
Third approach (information processing theory) This approach is designed to study quantitative characteristics of natural communicative systems and important properties of animal intelligence. This approach proves that ants,like honeybees, are able to inform their nest mates about remote events,and their communication system is rather rational and flexible.
Examples of animalcommunication Bees dance when they have found nectar. Chimpanzees greet each other by touching hands. Prairie dog calls for four predators—human, hawk, coyote and domestic dog by different vocal signals. Rhesus macaques produce five acoustically distinctive vocalizations when they find food.
Analysis of animal languagestudies Non-human animals cannot use language in ways that are considered unique and they have a limited range of ideas. Comprehension of human language by non- human animals might just be a result of operant conditioning. The imitation of human symbols could only be to achieve rewards. But still current evidence suggests that animals can learn and use many forms of