Animal Communication Essay

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Previous studies shows that putty-nosed monkeys use calls to serve as alarm calls to warn for danger. From the research done by Arnold and Klaus (2006, p.303 ), it is found out that male putty-nosed monkeys combine two sounds into different call sequences in order to warn the group of the presence of a predator or elicit group's movement. There are total three structures and all are only produced by two basic calling sounds, which are 'pyows' and 'hacks'. All these calls sequences are structurally unique and deliver different information. Compare to human communication systems, , we know that there is a set of rules to govern the sequence of components within a sentence in every human language. Therefore, sequence-based monkey call system resembles human language in syntactic aspect on a preliminary level.

  The relation between human language and male putty-nosed monkeys call systems is that both of them share the concept of syntax. Syntax are the rules to specify the correct word order for a language. (Fromkin, 2007, p. 116) For instance , English is a Subject-Verb-Object language. We need to make sure that we do not put the wrong word order in a sentence as it will affect the meaning. 'Mary rejected Peter.' and ' Peter rejected Mary.' are not the same. From the audio files supplemented , it is heard that hacks were the first calls produced by male putty-nosed monkeys in response to eagles, and hacks predominated within the call series. However, if the first calls were pyows, it means there is a leopard nearby. Different orders contribute to different semantic meanings. It is proved that order is concerned in both human languages and monkey call systems as it will affect the context.

  The above argument shows that on a preliminary level, monkeys call systems resemble human language in syntactic aspect. However, the crucial difference between them is that they belong to different types of syntax. Gong(2013) defined a mapping is compositional when it...

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