posted on May, 18 2011 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by NowanKenubi
So, to say that language has to be defined in accordance to what we humans are conceived to do and impose it on other species is a form of
Would it be any more anthropomorphic than defining chess in terms of how humans are conceived to play it? I don’t think so. All definitions are, by
definition, anthropomorphisms, since they are intended to make things comprehensible to human beings. Maybe you should have a look at some basic
linguistic texts before we take this argument any farther.
Besides, the only languages we are sure of were invented by humans. I don’t want to repeat myself, but ‘language’, whether human or otherwise,
is a lot more than simple communication. A bird’s mating dance and an air-raid siren are both forms of communication, but only a very
undiscriminating person would call them language.
The way I understand the OP article, what these scientists are planning to do is record a lot of dolphin vocalizations, analyze them to find patterns
that repeat themselves (patterns that they hope could be analogous to common words or phrases), then play these back to the dolphins and see how they
It is a translation machine based on hope. There’s no very sophisticated science here, apart from whatever analytical methods are to be used to
identify the patterns of vocalization. These guys are whistling in the dark.
Listen, I’d like to have animals talk to me, too. Dolphins aren’t my favourite beasts by any means, and I certainly don’t think they’re
anywhere near as intelligent as humans or even chimps, but they’re rather cute because they look as if they're smiling. All the same, I’d rather
my dog or my cats could talk to me than any dolphin. They communicate pretty well without language as it is; imagine the conversations we would have
if they could talk!