Human Language vs Animal Communication

Human Language vs Animal Communication

  • Submitted By: lemon7782
  • Date Submitted: 10/16/2010 3:27 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1155
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 3

Most of the other creatures on the planet can communicate with other members of their species. However, when asking whether human language is unique from other forms of animal language, the answer is definitely yes. But how human language differs from animal communication? In the following, let us discuss the question particularly.

First of all, what does a language mean? A language is considered to be a communication system that uses a finite set of symbols such as sounds, objects or gestures to form an infinite number of sentences, which is confined to a set of rules. It is also regarded as a system of communicating with other people in expressing a meaning, idea or thought. This language can be used in many forms, primarily through oral and written communications as well as using expressions through body language.

Hardly can animals develop an understanding of this specialized human mode of expression. Even if you command your dogs to do something and they really can follow to do it, they do not understand human language actually. They just produce a particular behavior in response to a particular sound-stimulus or noise, but do not actually understand what the words in the noise mean.

Human language is distinct from animal communication in many ways. The six properties of Displacement, Arbitrariness, Productivity, Cultural transmission, Discreteness and Duality can be taken as the core features of human language.

Displacement means that human can use language to talk about things and events not only in the immediate environment, but also in past or future time and places However, animal communication seems to lack this property. For example, if your dog barks right now, it wants to convey a message to you which is related to the immediate situation, but not related to last night or tomorrow. Besides, we can use language to talk about things and locations which are real or fake. It allows us to discuss mythical creatures...

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