What is meant by the terms: 1. Linguistic competence 2. Linguistic performance What is grammar? What is grammar for? Is language possible without grammar? What is meant by the term: Prescriptivism? What is Descriptivism? Animal Languages(?) A linguistic analysis Alertness Anger Depression/sadness Excitement Fear Friendliness Happiness Hunger/thirst Immediate need Interest Playfulness Warning/threat Frustration Birdsong can, just like human language, be culturally transmitted, and geographical “dialects” are common (Wiener, 1986) have a set of three distinct alarm calls, used for three different predators (snakes, leopards, and eagles) Not iconic: don’t represent imitation of the predator sound. Karl von Frisch (1920) Reporting of food sources through dancing Quality, distance, direction “round dance” for 50m radius “tail wagging” for more than 50m Can animals be taught how to communicate with human-like language? Able to memorize words and learn phrases Able to comprehend (limited) and respond to commands Able to communicate using elements of human language Can parrots really “talk”? Early studies with chimpanzees –mixed results Bonobos more adept at language learning than common chimps Parallels to language learning of human infants: ◦ early exposure to language vital ◦ formal teaching is not necessary Similarities to Humans Language device: Noam Chomsky Design feature 1: Semanticity: In human language the elements of the message have specific and fixed relation to real-world situations. A message must be understood in the same way by different receivers. Design feature 2: Arbitrariness: there is no logical connection between the form of the signal and its meaning. Design feature 3: Discreteness: Human language uses a small set of discrete contrastive elements. Design feature 4: Displacement/freedom from stimulus: In human language it is possible to talk about events remote in time and place. Design feature 5: Productivity: In human language, new messages can be produced from the elements of familiar messages; there is no fixed set of possible messages Design feature 6: Cultural transmission: the conventions of a language are learned by interacting with more experienced users. Design feature 7: Dual articulation/duality of patterning: In human language, sounds can go together to make up words, words can go together to make up sentences. (In sign language, there is something similar. Design feature 8: Prevarication: linguistic messages can be false, deceptive, or meaningless. Design feature 9: Reflexiveness: In a language, one can communicate about communication. Design feature 10: Learnability: A speaker of a language can learn another language. In groups of 4, talk about the individual animals, fill out the form and discuss whether you think any of them is capable of learning/using language in the human sense. Which of Hockett’s design features are only found in human language? Feature Semanticity Displacement/freedom from stimulus Productivity Dual articulation/duality of patterning Discreteness Arbitrariness Tradition Learn ability Reflectiveness Prevarication Bird-song Vervet Monkeys Honey bee ‘Talking’ Signing Parrots Apes There is a difference between communicating and the ability to use language. Animals may be able to use/learn certain aspects of human language but only in a very limited way. While some animals show trait marks of Hockett’s design features, none of them satisfies all criteria.