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Are humans superior to animals on the basis of our sophisticated used of language - Essay Example

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Because of this, there arises the belief that man is superior to all other creatures on earth. There are various points as put forward by the…
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Are humans superior to animals on the basis of our sophisticated used of language
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Download file to see previous pages In other words, while humans use language for various purposes, animals use language for very few purposes.
Some animals that are capable of using a language are elephants, fishes, frogs, and monkeys, and bees. Some of these animals produce sounds to communicate. While some communicate using infrasound, some produce ultrasound, and such communication goes beyond human recognition. Otherwise, these animals depend on sign language. However, a look into scholarly works proves that humans have far more superior use of language. To illustrate, according to Gardner, humans use language for four essential purposes as described in his work ‘Frames of mind: the theory of multiple intelligences’. The very first use of language, according to Gardner is to induce an action in other people (17). For example, parents use language to tell their children to go and study; an employer sends a memo to his subordinate to assign a particular duty. In both the cases, the language is used to induce an action.
However, if this is the sole purpose of using a language, animals too are capable of effectively using a language. To illustrate, according a study by Savage-Rumbaugh, Rumbaugh and Boysen, a bonobo chimpanzee named Kazi was able to learn as many as 20 words and constructed some sentences (59). That means, primates are capable of learning words and constructing sentences. Thus, they can induce action in others. However, people like Noam Chomsky do not recognize this as effective use of language. According to Chomsky, humans are capable of flying up to 30 feet as they do in Olympics; but, this does not mean that humans are capable of flying as birds are (12). In simple words, to say humans are capable of flight, they should fly for a considerable period of time, a considerable distance, and that too, in various angles and directions. The same is true in the case of language too.
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