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Author Topic: Do animals "speak" regional languages?  (Read 8057 times)

Jason Raath

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Do animals "speak" regional languages?
« on: 10/09/2009 13:30:03 »
Jason Raath  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris,
  
If I emigrated from South Africa to South America and took my family dog with me, would his bark be understood by the South American dogs?

Would animals on different continents speak different languages to each other? This would apply to cats, dogs, birds etc?
  
Thanks, love your show on Fridays on 702, and try never to miss it.
  
Cheers,
Jason Raath

What do you think?


 

Offline JnA

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« Reply #1 on: 13/09/2009 02:45:45 »
Whales have dialects.. I suspect that dolphins would as well.
 

Offline Laura_Kelly

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« Reply #2 on: 13/09/2009 09:31:54 »
One of the New Zealand Native birds, the Tui has regional dialects. That means that the Tui in Auckland can't understand the ones from Wellington and further south, and vice-versa. It's lucky that they aren't endangered or it would be a bit of an issue for breeding programs!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #3 on: 13/09/2009 16:58:05 »
"That means that the Tui in Auckland can't understand the ones from Wellington and further south"
What do they know that's worth talking about?
 

Offline Laura_Kelly

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« Reply #4 on: 15/09/2009 06:47:30 »
Breeding for a start. And their songs are so beautiful and complex. If you want to have a listen, here is a link to an awesome recording of the Tui, http://www.radionz.co.nz/search?mode=results&queries_all_query=tui , then click on number 7.
 

Offline Nizzle

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« Reply #5 on: 15/09/2009 08:55:18 »
People are animals, so yes! :P
 

Offline BenV

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« Reply #6 on: 15/09/2009 10:15:48 »
If I emigrated from South Africa to South America and took my family dog with me, would his bark be understood by the South American dogs?

Would animals on different continents speak different languages to each other? This would apply to cats, dogs, birds etc?

Well, we've seen evidence above that birds do show regional variation, but these are complex (and often, though not exclusively) learned behaviours.

I would suspect that dogs & cats (and other animals with relatively simple vocalisations) would probably be able to understand each other.  Not to mention the non-verbal communication, (scent, raised hackles, rolling over...) would probably also communicate across regional boundaries - it communicates well enough over species boundaries!
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #7 on: 15/09/2009 17:05:21 »
Sheep in Northeastern Spain speak Baaaaasque.  ;D
 

Offline thedoc

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John G

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« Reply #9 on: 24/01/2010 22:37:29 »
I think you mean Speech, not Language, as there's not real proof as of yet that animals use Syntactic (or even Semantic) Language skills (phonemes, morphemes, meaningful segments, etc).
Its an important distinction, since its one of the evolutionary qualities that appears to be uniquely human, and a likely indicator of Cognitive function.
 

brea

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« Reply #10 on: 30/01/2010 00:02:16 »
So you are all saying that all animals have language?...Or that their communication differs in dialect like a language would?
 

Dan

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« Reply #11 on: 10/08/2012 11:27:26 »
To what extent can the same species of animal living on different land continents be able to understand each other when brought into contact with each other for the first time? I.e. are there different animal languages?
 

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« Reply #11 on: 10/08/2012 11:27:26 »

 

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