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Does language make humans different?

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“Does language make humans different?” Although most animals can communicate in one way or another (verbal on non-verbal), humans can do it verbally with precision and efficiency unprecedented. While there are millions of species of animals that can communicate. Animal can also communicate with noises and body language, but the reason humans are different is our ability to give context to the situation we’re in. Songbirds communicate verbally using their different songs to communicate what they want. The chirping is normally a warning or a showing of dominance, while “kaa”ing is a sign of fear. They use their songs mainly for (but not limited to) mating calls. They know these calls and songs instinctively. “Bird calls consist of one of more short notes. These calls seem to be instinctive response to danger, nesting, flocking, and few other basic situations” (Text 3). With this in mind, bird calls are nothing like human language, with the birds only communicate to a few situations, while humans can speak to empathy and context. This understanding of bird calls to human language, shows that language is very unique to humans.

As we get closer to understand the communication between animals, we turn to Chimps. As our closest relations, a lot of research has gone into animal language with using apes. One of the more noted of these studies was conducted by Savage-Rumbaugh who taught a Bonobo chimpanzee, “Kanzi”, to use a form of sign language. Savage-Rumbaugh claimed that Kanzi’s language skills using a 256-symbol keyboard were equivalent to those of a two-and-a-half-year-old child’s, but as Zanzi grew, his linguistic abilities did not increase significantly, whereas a human child’s linguistic ability would grow rapidly with age. This evidence suggests that there is a limit to how much a primate can acquire or develop language. “With these and other ape-language experiments, says Savage-Rumbaugh, the mythology of human uniqueness is coming under challenge. If apes can learn language, which we once thought [was] unique to humans, then it suggests that ability is not innate in just us” (Text 07). This passage suggests that the uniqueness of language in telling others what you think is only in humans, due to the fact that ape’s brian’s didn’t improve overtime. Areas of the brain such as Broca’s, seems to have evolved in humans as a language department where we understand language, while in other species the corresponding areas control actions such as arm and non-verbal mouth movements and the vocal tracts of humans and apes also differ, affecting the sounds that apes are capable of making communication efforts.

Language makes humans different in the fact that our language is precise and efficient. Many other animals can communicate though not in this way. Human language is by far the most advanced and this diversity of vocabulary has been cumulative; it has been built up over time and is not an instinctual thing. Language makes humans different. Almost all species of animals can communicate but none of them really have a language. Their ability to communicate is instinctual; ours is not. Also, we have more than a hundred different languages (although some of them are dead). Also, we have symbolic meaning in items which animals do not. For example, a wedding ring. A human can also build off of the collective knowledge and be innovative. The knowledge that was discovered by neanderthals as they hunted and cut the meat off the bone by creating sharp tools out of stone, was communicated to the generations that followed. The need for Homo Sapiens to speak to each other as they socialized around the fires of by-gone-years helped evolve speech. Anthropologists and archeologists have puzzled together the connective story of the evolution of speech: from grunts that may have helped in the teamwork of hunting for food to the complex languages that have great efficiency and are still based in necessity and environment. This made humans advance into the wildness, faster than any other organism on this planet.

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