Human and Animal Communication

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Adriana Pavie

ESL 192
Essay 1

Spoken Language and Other Forms of Communication

Language is defined as highly elaborated signaling, and it’s also the key to understand and be understood. Human beings start to acquire language from the moment they are born. We can say that language and communication are the heart of the human experience whether communication is face to face, in writing, in signs, in body language etc. When spoken language is compared with other forms of communication, we can affirm that only humans are able to use real language to communicate.

Animals for sure are capable to generate a multitude of sounds, which could be construed as though it was imitating human language. However, animals don’t possesses the same neural systems that humans do. Dr. Marc D. Hauser, an expert on animal communication at Harvard says that: “In animals brains, by contrast, each neural system seems to be locked in place and cannot interact freely with others.” He also adds an example that chimps are able to read each others goals, they can do a lot of political strategies when organized in groups, but of course, they can’t speak to each other due to the fact that their neural systems can’t connect these social interaction to language.

The sign language is also another form of communication used not only by humans, but also by animals. But this form of language also differ from the way animals use, because when sign language is used by humans we can affirm that the grammar is shown. When comparing humans and animals using ASL, it’s demonstrated on researches with primates that they are just able to sign the words itself; just sometimes they can put a few words together, but that doesn’t mean they are able to use grammar. In some of the research made with primates and ASL, researchers conclude that the animals were just mimicking theirs trainers in order to get treats or just to please them.

Keeping in mind that many animals still...
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