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  • What Language do Animals Speak?

    Do animals use language? It’s clear to anyone who has had a pet that animals communicate. My dog and cat are both great at telling me when they need to go outside, when they’re hungry, and when they’re angry. My cat is especially great at telling me she’s angry. She usually does it by running between my legs while I’m going down the stairs. Basically she’s trying to break my neck to show me that I’m failing her.

    Anyway, after watching the TED-Ed video that we selected this week, I found that it is interesting to ask whether animals have language, and what the difference is between language and communication.

    Before watching the video below, what do you think is the difference between having a language and being able to communicate? Do you think there are any animals that have language?

    Watch the video below, then see if you can answer the questions. Answer the questions in comments and we’ll respond.


    Answer the questions below in comments and we’ll respond.

    1. How do honey bees communicate with each other? What do they communicate about?
    2. What 4 things are required for language?
    3. Why do you think these 4 things are required to define language?
    4. Which of these requires modal verbs and the conditional tense?
    5. What surprising things can prarie dogs do?
    6. What are chimps unable to do that prevents them from having language?
    7. What do dolphins lack?
    8. Even Washo and Koko’s impressive abilities are still  ______ by the language skills of most 3 year old humans.