Language as a Uniquely Human Commuvicative System - the Main Difference and Similarities between Communication in Animals and Human Beings – Term Paper Example

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The paper "Language as a Uniquely Human Communicative System - the Main Difference and Similarities between Communication in Animals and Human Beings" is a wonderful example of a term paper on communication. Language can be defined as a communication system that involves sets of spoken sounds, symbols that are written or manual that has been developed, acquired and maintained over time. It can as well mean a communication system used by a specific community or nation. Language not only helps in the expression of thoughts, values, and perception but also aids in exposing the sentiments of an individual. This review exploits different connotative meanings of language and leverages on the limits of language being viewed as being critically human. It is a common notion that one of the salient phenomena that separates human and animals is language. Language is a very critical component of human life that it would with no doubt be correct to point out the very existence of societies and their survival is hinged on language. It is also important to note that animals also communicate a good example would the case of a nanny goat using sounds and pheromones to signal mating or dancing of the bees to signal members of the colony where honey is found. The following points illustrate the main difference and similarities between communication in animals and human beings. Discrete infinity, this is the ability of human beings to construct from limited dozen discrete elements variety of infinite ways of expressing feelings, thoughts and even feelings. This ability is limited to humans. An example is an English language has only 26 alphabetical letters but millions of words can be generated from these few letters. This implies that language in human beings is open-ended because a wide variety of utterances can be derived from a limitless set of elements. Animals also have discrete codes of communication but they are limited since they cannot be generated to form other complex codes, therefore their communication is always a closed system.

Displacement, this is the ability of a given language in communicating about things or events that are spatially or not immediately present. Humans achieve displacement through different means, for example, English language employs the use of auxiliary verbs such as will and can to achieve displacement. Humans have the ability to achieve not only in time, space but also in abstract notions and hypothetical events which entails talking about things they have never even seen an example is “I think she is sick”. Animals have very limited displacement capabilities, an example is dancing of the bees, though the action captures displacement in space it cannot elaborate on issues like finding nectars on the moon. Joint attention is the mutual understanding between two or more people communicating this include the ability to guess, establish intent and common reference. It is a complex process that involves creating a link between the physical act and mental activity based on previous experience. Human language is a shared goal among individuals in communication. Animals like chimpanzee can draw the attention of one another during communication but they don’t have the ability to cooperate as a unit during communication like figuring out what the chimpanzee is thinking. There are various similarities: this includes the way sign language is used which is an integral part of a language. Both humans and chimpanzees utilize facial expressions and non-verbal cues to convey messages of anger, anxiety, and mood. Both use tonal variation and different vocal ranges to express emotions a good example is the owner of the pet always know a specific sound his or her pet makes when it’s happy or sad.
A careful review of both the similarities and differences reveals very important facts to note. Although the language in humans is well developed, elaborate and complicated animals have a simple and crude way of passing messages to one another. The essence of a language is aiding communication and since both animals and humans have their own languages debunks the myth that language is limited to human.

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