Time: 16:15-18:00 Oslo time
Online meeting information (please do not post the meeting information on social media or other public forums):
Zoom Meeting ID: 641-6549-2283
Abstract: Do nonhuman animals have language? In humans, language is prominently manifested by vocal communication (i.e., speech). However, while vocal communication is ubiquitous across the animal kingdom, studies to date have found only elementary parallels to speech in nonhuman animals. These modest linguistic capacities of other species have fortified our belief that language is uniquely human. But have we really tested this uniqueness claim? By adopting methods that are commonly used in bioacoustics, I demonstrate that, surprisingly, a true impartial comparison between human speech and other animal vocalizations has not been conducted yet. Oddly, studying human speech using the same methods used to study other species vocalizations is actually expected to provide us with no evidence for human uniqueness.
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