Communicative and informative signals • Intentional vs. unintentional
Distinctions between human language and animal communication • Displacement
Distinctions between human language and animal communication • Arbitrariness
Distinctions between human language and animal communication • Productivity
Distinctions between human language and animal communication • Cultural transmission
Talking to animals • Chimpanzees and language: Gua→ understand 100 words → did not say any of them • Viki →scientists spent 5 years to get her say E words → managed to produce some words, rather poorly articulated versions of mama, papa, and cup.
Washoe → use version of ASL → by three and a half years → she came to use signs for more than 100 words → she could even combine these signs and produce sentences. • Sarah → use plastic shapes to communicate with humans → the plastic shapes represented words and could be arranged in sequence to build sentences →able to produce sentences and understand complex structures.
Lana →learned a language called Yerkish → aset of symbols on a large keyboard linked to a computer. When Lana wanted some water, she had to press four symbols, in the correct sequence, to produce the message please machine give water • criticism
The controversy • Herbert Terrace • Chimpanzees produce signs in response to the demands of people • Conditional response to cues provided by human trainers • Response: experiments were conducted by eliciting responses • Animals reported to use sign language with or with no human presence
Home assignments • Study questions 1 to 5