Animal Language

  • 9 Replies
  • 4577 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:11 pm »
Quote from: Bakker User
On a more sanguine note than my latest posts:

Do other animals - any other ones - possess forms of communication akin to the creative, abstract, and "self-aware" human language(s)?

I've heard a few things about crows, dolphins, and elephants that I can't readily reference at the moment, but how about videos like these featuring bonobos?

That is, this* and that.**

Is it just more evidence that puts paid to the (filthy!)notion of anthropic exceptionalism, or have zoologists grossly misinterpreted the likeness to our own selves in uncovering a greater degree (but not kind) of certain behaviors than was previously known or assumed?

Personally, my stance is that nothing in particular sets us above the rest of the Animal Kingdom other than superior neural complexity and some features well-suited to digital manipulation and precise phonation. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to discover traits and behaviors in animals that closely mirror ours - we all share evolutionary physiological equipment to some extent, after all. Whether any of our well-observed animals truly do have 'human-like' language or capacity for it, I'll leave open to further research, the nitty-gritty of which I am ignorant.

*
(click to show/hide)

**
(click to show/hide)

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:17 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I actually recently saw Jay Ingram speak on animal conscious. Though, I think his talk might have been too short - the institution certainly didn't help matters, underestimating attendees from the community and microphone difficulties.

Firstly,

Quote from: Bakker User
Personally, my stance is that nothing in particular sets us above the rest of the Animal Kingdom other than superior neural complexity and some features well-suited to digital manipulation and precise phonation.

+1

In response to your direct question:

Quote from: Bakker User
Do other animals - any other ones - possess forms of communication akin to the creative, abstract, and "self-aware" human language(s)?

No. Had you stopped before akin... or even, self-awareness human style, I might have said yes.

Also, plenty of animals displays behaviorial criteria of both self-awareness and communication but then we have to distinguish those.

You can google the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness which lists some more animals but I can never seem to find a prime source that isn't corrupted - unless it's my computer.

Quote from: Bakker User
I've heard a few things about crows, dolphins, and elephants that I can't readily reference at the moment, but how about videos like these featuring bonobos?

All great examples of probable self-awareness and probable communication - not akin to our phonemic speciality. However, in both cases distinctions matter - especially as, so far as I know, no one has worked on a Interspecies Phonemic Alphabet to represent the phonemic breadth of mammals, let's say.

EDIT: Lol.

You posting as Mitt Romney at TPB, Bakker User?

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2340

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:25 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I wanted to add some things I'd forgotten to mention and have been reminded of in small moments since considering this.

Firstly, there's been research suggesting a neuronal recycling theory, that all scripts fall under the purview of brain structures formerly evolved to recognize shapes. This follows into talk of recognizing proto-letters, curves, lines, etc, that primate brains show recognition of.

Secondly, there are hypotheses about dolphins communicating in images constructed with echolocation. I'd have to dig into my pile for the specific studies but the idea is that say a dolphin knows a shark is coming and wants to communicate that to its pod. It can emit the same sound pattern as would be "reflected" to their echo-location perception when "sensing" the shark.

We've then done the same and communicated albeit limitedly with dolphins like matching words to images with primates, except a little more abstraction is necessary to grasp it.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:33 pm »
Quote from: Madness
And for good measure: Flowers Communicate With Electricity.

There are other versions of plant communication hypotheses as well...

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:40 pm »
Quote from: Bakker User
Quote
No. Had you stopped before akin... or even, self-awareness human style, I might have said yes.

Well, sure, pretty much all complex organisms AFAIK have means of communication, from pheremones to gesticulation to even molecular triggers for the microscopic ones.

By "self-awareness", I meant self-reference in symbolic or verbal form, specifically. Ah, in the latter case I think the famous African Grey Parrot subjects would count. Though it seems the actual self-referential speech is not shown in the footage here, only mentioned. But, as they say, seems legit. Would be more interesting to see those a paper demonstrating that bonobos can, without prompting or extensive conditioning beyond learning the meanings of the symbols, develop lucid and self-referential phrases on their own initiative. But you should get the picture by now, right?

Quote
All great examples of probable self-awareness and probable communication - not akin to our phonemic speciality. However, in both cases distinctions matter - especially as, so far as I know, no one has worked on a Interspecies Phonemic Alphabet to represent the phonemic breadth of mammals, let's say.

Ties in with what I said above, ja? The problem of course is finding sufficient researches qualified and willing to spend a decade or two working with a group of bonobos from birth, having a ready-made alphabet in place by whatever age bonobos can be expected to start learning that stuff. No doubt would need expert linguists on the team to work on that. Would be cool to see a proto-civilization spring from this Human Tutelage, though hopefully any data gleaned would be more valuable than a vanity trip...

Participation appreciated, at any rate.

Addendum: I'm not Mitt Romney - impossible! I'm only in February 2011 yet.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 06:28:46 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol, you have some good posts to read in 2011/2012 ;). Do you know, for instance, that Light, Time, & Gravity exists in draft form on TPB - curious, if you really haven't explored past Feb 2011.

Love the definition of communication - humans communicate with the world, especially other people, the same way we interact with it. Through our unified, constituent, sensory perception and our individual awareness of it. Humans too often forget to appreciate how complicated being alive and doing something as simple as opening our mouths to speak is :D!

A caveat, but I'd posit here that cultivating more diverse sensory perception and motor function is one of the surest ways to enhance performance.

I was going to mention the mirror test - or its variant, the spot test - shown, in albeit, limited fashion in the video in your post. The spot test is certainly more dramatic because the animal doesn't realize the spot has been marked on them until they see themselves in the mirror - the argued threshold being that they care that the spot is on themselves, rather than some other bird, something that's representative of a cognition of self interacting with a proprioceptive architectural schema. Both of which are hidden in the interaction of the brain as a whole, not necessarily specific localized structures like the classic phrenology poster, and each action, feeling, word, thought, is its own, unique mosaic of brain activity.

Its exactly analogous to our perception of reality at large. We only possess so many sense organs - though I'd clarify to anyone reading that I think we should exercise and master our evolved traits first through rigorous embodied practice reflecting, foremost, a healthy respect for neuroplastic brain - and are a piece of matter, definitively localized in an expanding universe - we cannot sense what we cannot sense. Witness the power and lure of technological perception.

Digression aside, though an attempt at sketching some edges and outlines for fodder.

I truly believe that whether they think so or not, or whether they communicate yet or not, this place probably houses one of the most fluid human noospheres ever attracted and congregated around one work.

Other authors have enjoyed a bigger, more vocal, audiences in the technological age. We've got some heavy diversity in creativity and intelligence and an awesome respect for the manifest symptoms of heuristic and bias.

No incidental monetary restrictions need apply - we can crowdsource theory here like no other space on the intraweb.

Dehaene has done some great work on this - Reading in the Brain is a fantastic culmination of his work and the work of others.

However, its not hard linguistically. You approach it the same way you do any language - I've no doubt there is probably limited research with this because working with animals is exceedingly difficult.

We'd likely have to define some new phonemes, record the animals vocal catalog - it seems apparent even in a thought experiment that primates simply don't make enough distinct sounds to constitute a language and you don't need very many of them.

Another tack is the dolphin experiments I mentioned but it is equally complicated in satisfying your question.

We could easily - and the researchers did work on beginning the process - record the received sounds of echolocation from different shapes. The dolphins also demonstrated learning novel - I guess the closest analogy is a grapheme - like flower pot and recognition and proper emitting of the new echolocative grapheme.

I don't remember if they took it so far as to see if one dolphin would share that novel image with another dolphin - learning would be pretty groundbreaking.

Lol, let's mentor ourselves first, Bakker User ;). I think the Human Tutelage would be much worse than the Nonmen Tutelage at this point - we wouldn't show them the Ark, we'd show them our mind, our soul, Pandora's Broken Box itself...

+1 for Thoughts ;).

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5270
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 03:50:33 pm »
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/132650631/new-language-discovered-prairiedogese

Interesting research, can't be bothered to chase down references right now.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

Callan S.

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Warrior-Profit
  • Posts: 671
    • View Profile
    • Philosopher Gamer
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 01:19:46 am »
I think my budgie has a word for 'sudden darkness', as he sometimes gives the same call when I turn out the light at night - it even seems to have the same pitch as a question in its tone.

Can't remember if I said it here already, but that 'Bok bok bok' sound we associate as the noise chickens make isn't the noise chickens make, really. It's actually their word for 'ground based preditor approaching'. It's not their normal call - we just think it is because it's the noise we always hear when were near them (and we forget to treat ourselves as a factor in the situation)

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5270
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 03:23:51 pm »
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5270
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 01:42:58 pm »
Thinking with their trunks: elephants use smell but not sound to locate food and exclude nonrewarding alternatives

Paywall but everyone can read the abstract, obviously, and those of you with institutional (or personal) access can read it entire.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer