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Do Animals Use Language Or Do They Simply Communicate - Essay Example

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This essay stresses that the precise definition of language muddies the debate. Apes do not hold intellectual conversations similar to television cartoon characters but they are communicating using sign language based upon vocal human language. There are many identifying components that are required to formally label communicative skills as language. The intent to communicate must be exhibited along with an attached meaning, in other words, an exchange of ideas is necessary. Vocalizing language is not a requirement because the deaf and mute use sign language to communicate and their ability to use language is not in question.
This paper makes a conclusion that in Charles Darwin’s studies, which lead to the theory of evolution, his examination of the linguistic-like characteristics in primates confirmed his historic, groundbreaking theory on the ancestry of mankind. Even the skeptic Chomsky admits that a better comprehension of the cognitive and intellectual aptitude of chimpanzees and other apes may allow for a deeper appreciation of the human thought process. Although animals have not as yet communicated vocally via human language, they have demonstrated the ability to converse with people to an amazingly large degree. They understand language and reply appropriately. Can animals use language? The answer remains dependent on how strict a definition one assigns the concept of language. ...Show more
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Summary

This discussion examines and attempts to clarify the competing schools of thought regarding the long-standing question of whether animals are able to understand and use language or if they are irrevocably physically or intellectually limited in this area…
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