Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach

By Ronald J. Schusterman; Jeanette A. Thomas et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

be seen whether they can also learn to produce rule-governed messages, but an ability to understand and respond appropriately to messages whose meaning requires comprehension of the rules as well as of the individual elements is certainly an important step in the direction of combinatorial productivity in animal communication.

In the thoughtful discussion of Herman's experiments at the conference, it was pointed out that we scientists whose native language is English tend to assume that grammatical rules providing combinatorial productivity must necessarily involve word order or the temporal sequence of other signals. This type of rule is easy to manipulate experimentally, but it is by no means universal among human languages. Many languages use inflection of key words to convey grammatical relationships, such as which noun is actor or object and who performs a certain action. The fact that this sort of grammatical rule is so widespread might mean that it is in some ways a simpler and perhaps even an easier way to combine words meaningfully. Would apes, parrots, dolphins or other animals learn more readily to communicate with combinatorial productivity if the rules involved modifications of signals rather than their temporal order? This notion was one of many potentially fruitful ideas that took shape during the conference, and readers of the following chapters will find abundant and comparable food for thought.

Donald R. Griffin

The Rockefeller University


REFERENCES

Griffin. D. R. ( 1984). Animal thinking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Harré R., & Reynolds. V. (Eds.). ( 1984). The meaning of primate signals. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Herman L. M. ( 1980). "Cognitive capacities of dolphins". In L. M. Herman (Ed.). Cetacean Behavior mechanisms and functions New York: Wiley.

Miller G. A. ( 1967). The psychology of communication. New York: Basic Books.

-xiii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 394

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?