Do animals communicate using a language?
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Do animals communicate using a language? book
Since animals (and other life forms) obviously engage in communication, the question in the title must be seen as relating to whether the systems that enable this are comparable to those of specifically human language. This is addressed here in terms of the cognitive organization that enables humans to produce and understand an essentially unbounded range of expressions. The internal components of that organization are outlined, and the evidence from animal communication discussed in relation to these. It is concluded that with very limited partial exceptions, animal communication does not evidence capacities that would allow for a system comparable to human language. The richness which is apparent in animal communication, however, suggests that human and some non-human communication systems do share an important component: a rich capacity for pragmatic interpretation.