Questions: What If It’s Not Just Parrots?
I was just thinking about what people do when they meet someone who speaks another language. Sometimes, especially if they are not too bright or not too kind, they make jabbering noises at the person who is trying to speak to them. That’s what they hear — jabbering.
Now, parrots have learned how to do this well. We think they’re gifted because they’re very good at imitating spoken language. But maybe they’re just more skilled jabberers. Maybe all the animals are trying to talk to us, using what they hear as our language, when we talk to them. It’s not that I actually said “oo-oo” to the monkey; maybe that’s just what it sounded like to him, or that’s as close as he can get to imitating what comes out of my mouth.
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Tags: language, monkeys, parrots, speaking