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Talking animal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A talking animal or speaking animal is any non-human animal that can produce sounds or gestures resembling those of a human language. Several species or groups of animals have developed forms of communication which superficially resemble verbal language, however, these are not defined as language because they lack one or more of the defining characteristics, i.e. grammar, syntax, recursion and displacement. Researchers have been successful in teaching some animals to make gestures similar to sign language. However, these animals fail to reach one or more of the criteria accepted as defining language.

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  • What If Animals Could Talk?
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Have you ever looked down at your dog and wondered, I wonder what you would say to me if you could talk? Although humans are able to communicate with some animals on a basic level, we cant understand the majority of what animals say to us. But What if we could? What if animals could talk? Welcome back to Lifes biggest questions, I’m charlotte dobre. Don’t forget to give us a thumbs up, subscribe and let us know in the comments below what topics you would like to see next. Imagine if every animal on earth could speak. For starters, the world would be a pretty noisy place. Think about every squirrel, dog, bird, cat, horse and racoon having the ability to speak? Lets face it, most of them would just ask us for food. But in the off chance that animals suddenly became intelligent, as well as the ability to speak, here’s what would happen. If animals could talk, maybe that would mean they are as intelligent as humans. If animals were intelligent like us, perhaps they would build their own societies. Perhaps they would think humans are their enemies, and plot to rise up against us. And they would probably win. There are way more animals on earth than there are people. Lets avoid that scenario and stick to a simpler alternate universe, because frankly that one scares me. If animals could talk, They would be the ultimate companions. Perhaps they would no longer be considered pets. Dogs are incredibly loyal, not all friends are. You would always have someone to confide in, and they would confide in you. They would be able to tell us what they want, how they feel, or if they are sick and needed to see a vet. Training animals would be a thing of the past. We wouldn’t train animals, we would teach them, the way we do our children when they are growing up. If animals could talk, that raises the question…would animals also have rights? There are already some initiatives that exist to extend legal rights to chimpanzees. What if all animals suddenly had rights, and we were no longer able to use animals to further human understanding of diseases, and the development of cures for those diseases? If animals could talk, it certainly would be a lot harder for people to eat meat. There would be a lot more vegetarians. If animals could talk, they would be able to communicate the pain they experience when they are subjected to testing, when they lose their habitat due to human development, when they lose loved ones to the meat industry. It would be extremely difficult to slaughter a cow or a chicken who’s pleading for its life. If animals could talk, there would be a lot less animal cruelty as well. There would be no such thing as zoos, circuses, or animal parks. It is arguable that humans visit zoos and aquariums in order to have some sort of interaction with animals. But If animals were able to communicate with us, it would be difficult to keep them in cages. Interactions with animals in zoos would become very hard to experience, and would no longer be a source of entertainment. How miserable would it be to go to a zoo, only to hear how unhappy the animals are because they are being kept in cages? It would be like going to a jail, only all the individuals in that jail are innocent. Austrian Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstien once said ‘if a lion could talk, we would not understand him. Meaning, Animals likely have a completely different understanding of life than humans do. Science shows that the animals with the most complex brains are the ones most capable of cruelty. Humans have the capacity to be empathic, but we also have the capacity to be quite nasty. Why not animals as well? Dolphins, for example, slaughter hundreds of porpoises at once. There is no evolutionary gain for dolphins to slaughter porpoises; they don’t even eat the same food. The only reasonable explanation is, that Dolphins kill porpoises because they want to. But maybe if animals could talk, we could ask the dolphins why they kill porpoises instead of guessing. But why is it that animals have to be able to speak for us to empathize with them. Even though they don’t speak, they do communicate with us. Perhaps its not animals that should learn to the ability to speak, perhaps its humans who should develop the ability to listen. Thank you for watching this video until the end, that means you enjoyed it. If you love our videos, please support this channel by donating to our patreon. And if you would like to continue watching , check out our playlist ‘biggest what ifs’ that’s all for now and thanks for watching LBQ.


Possibility of animal language

Clever Hans performing
Clever Hans performing

The term refers to animals which can imitate (though not necessarily understand) human speech. Parrots, for example, repeat things nonsensically through exposure.[citation needed] It is a form of anthropomorphism to call this human speech, as it has no semantic grounding.

Researchers have attempted to teach great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos) spoken language with poor results as they can only be taught how to say one or a few basic or limited words or phrases or less, and sign language with significantly better results as they can be very creative with various hand signals like those of deaf people.[citation needed] However, even the best communicating great ape has shown an inability to grasp the idea of syntax and grammar, instead communicating at best at the same level as a pidgin language in humans. They are expressive and communicative, but lack the formality that remains unique to human speech.

Modern[timeframe?] research shows that the key difference is the animal's lack of asking questions and that formal syntax is merely a superficial detail, however Alex the parrot has been recorded as having asked an existential question.[1]

There are other differences as well, including poor precision, as shown by Kanzi the bonobo used the lexigram for chase interchangeably with that for get, though this behavior may not be the same for all animals.[2][3] Research supports the idea that the linguistic limitations in animals are due to limited general brainpower (as opposed to lack of a specific module),[citation needed] and that words are created by breaking down sentences into pieces, making grammar more basic than semantics.[4]

Reported cases by species



An owner hears a dog making a sound that resembles a phrase says the phrase back to the dog, who then repeats the sound and is rewarded with a treat. Eventually the dog learns a modified version of the original sound. Dogs have limited vocal imitation skills, so these sounds usually need to be shaped by selective attention and social reward.[5]

  • A dog on America's Funniest Home Videos named Fluffy, made noises that to some viewers resembled "I want my momma" after being asked "Do you want your momma?".[citation needed] Other videos showed other dogs making noises which to some viewers resembling "Run around", "I want it", "I love momma" and "Hello".
  • Odie, a pug who produced noises resembling "I love you" on demand, made appearances on several television shows.[6]
  • Paranormal researcher Charles Fort wrote in his book Wild Talents (1932) of several alleged cases of dogs that could speak English. Fort took the stories from contemporary newspaper accounts.
  • A husky which produces vocalisations that to some viewers sound like 'no' has appeared in the Daily Mail, the Mirror and the Huffington Post, amongst others.[7]
  • In 1715 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz published an account of his encounter with a talking dog that could pronounce about 30 words.[8]
  • Don, a German pointer born around the beginning of the 20th century, was a dog that was reputed to be able to pronounce a couple of words in German and became a vaudeville sensation as a result. Although most scientists at the time dismissed Don's capabilities, the author Jan Bondeson puts forward an argument that Don was genuinely capable of limited human speech and criticises the tests that were performed on Don at the time as having serious methodological flaws.[9]
  • In 1959 a German sheepdog by the name of Corinna living in Prague spontaneously developed a capability for limited human speech. According to the zoologist Hermann Hartwigg, published under the pseudonym 'Hermann Dembeck', Corinna 'holds the record in modern times for its talking prowess'.[10]


  • The case of a cat that was videotaped speaking purported human words and phrases such as "Oh my dog", "Oh Long John", "Oh Long Johnson", "Oh Don piano", "Why I eyes ya", and "All the live long day"[11] became an Internet phenomenon in 2006. Footage of this cat, nicknamed Oh Long Johnson from one of the phrases spoken, was featured on America's Funniest Home Videos in 1998, and a longer version of the clip (which revealed the animal was reacting to the presence of another cat) was aired in the UK. Clips from this video are prevalent on YouTube. The cat appeared as a character in "Faith Hilling", the 226th episode of South Park, which aired on March 28, 2012.
  • Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Georgia, in which the court found that the exhibition of a talking cat was considered an occupation for the purposes of municipal licensing law.


See also


  1. ^ Jordania, Joseph (2006). Who Asked the First Question? The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech. Tbilisi: Logos. ISBN 978-99940-31-81-8.
  2. ^ Kluger, J. (2010). "Inside the minds of animals". Time. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ Kluger, Jeffrey (August 5, 2010). "Inside the Minds of Animals". Time.
  4. ^ Francisco Lacerda: A ecological theory of language acquisition
  5. ^ Adler, Tina (June 10, 2009). "Fact or Fiction: Dogs Can Talk". Scientific American. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "the talking pug". Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  7. ^ Thomas, Emma (January 15, 2014). "Defiant husky Blaze hates his kennel so much he learnt how to say no". Daily Mail. London.
  8. ^ Bondeson, Jan (15 March 2011). Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445609645 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Bondeson, Jan (15 March 2011). Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445609645 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Willingly to school: How animals are taught". Taplinger Publishing Company. 2017-06-09.
  11. ^ Oh Long Johnson... - talking cat. June 11, 2006.
  12. ^ "Hoover, the Talking Seal". New England Aquarium. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  13. ^ Josiffe, Christopher (January 2011). "Gef the Talking Mongoose". Fortean Times. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  14. ^ Chris Berry; So-yŏng Kim; Lynn Spigel (January 2010). Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-0-8166-4736-1. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Conversing cows and eloquent elephants". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  16. ^ "Kosik, Talking Elephant, Attracts Researchers And Tourists In South Korea". Huffington Post. October 11, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  17. ^ "Study: Male beluga whale mimics human speech". 23 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  18. ^ "The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans". Smithsonian Magazine. June 2014.
  19. ^ Is This Goat Talking? | Yahoo News
    In August, Lyndsey Hyde of Tennessee posted a video to Vine featuring a goat that sounds like it is saying "What? What? What?" The 6-second clip went viral with more than 7 million views on the video-sharing app.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 September 2018, at 17:03
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