Language of People and Animals

Table of Content

It seems to me that changed human mental function at an organic level was “conception process”. As far as I known, when we dream at night, it is the function and activity of our brain, just as the other physical functions such as breath and heartbeat. Using the language is a biological need with it a biological gift that humans can combine words, pictures and memories and create an “idea”. It is interesting to notice that, this statement disputes some psychologists’ belief that language is simple evolved, superior and higher than other animals.

In fact, sign using by animals is continuity, because signs don’t refer to ideas but to actual situations, then the signs that animals use to communicate do not constitute a language. Really like the Lancer’s idea of humans are not smarter than other animals; we are just different. Animals use signs that don’t have a pattern or meaning like human language does, does not mean they are not as intelligent as human beings. As a student who took many science classes, there are so many questions in my mind. If Lancers statement is true, why unman beings consider we are on the top of food chain?

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Are human beings superior to other animals due to human brains structure are more developed? I’m sure there are plenty of scientific research could conduct a conclusion and provide evidence to support; however, I think it’s much more interesting to think about how evolution changed our relation to animals. Many people love to keep pets and most common species are dogs and cats. Before human domesticated dogs and cats, they are wild animals and human hunted then in wild (wolves are dogs’ ancestors) and indoor animals are still insider as property and soulless machines hundreds years ago.

Nowadays, it is commonly seen that cats and dogs been treated as family members and friends and animals have their own personalities. Driving this movement is an increasing awareness of animal intelligence and their emotional capabilities. Don’t know if animals are surely smarter than us, but using language to plan, imagine and language communicating abstractions truly make us different and special. P. 115 #1 and #4 ? In the article “Words Don’t Mean What They Mean”, Steven Pinker uses an extended example from he movie Tootsie as the opening. Hind the intent of Picker is to illustrate that how language convey different meanings in different context and how this hypocrisy can affect people’s communication and relationship. He also use the terms “role playing’, “sidestep”, and “shills-shall/’ in order to indicates that people don’t just say what they mean. What’s reason for people cannot clearly and explicitly express their thoughts? Indeed, having the same situation in my life, I agree with Pinked s statement that people are very, very ouch about their relationship.

When we talk to other people, we are not only conveying a message for current meeting, but looking forward to seeing each other next time. Therefore, it’s not hard to understand that people tend to talk in a polite way in order to enhance their relationships. As a sensitive person myself, I got my feelings hurt easily when someone would say something biting to me. Because I understand that feeling, I ‘m trying to talk my family and friends in an unassertive and polite way if I have a request or any concerns.

When comparing language use between two humans and two modems, the difference is immediately clear. Because machines don’t have feelings, emotions and thoughts, their conversation is as simple and as delivering, transmitting and receiving information. Similarly, human also communicate information, but the process is much more complicated. For example, a conversation and digital communication between two modems is as simple as two values, most commonly represented as either O or 1. In the other words, computers can only “talk” to the other computer in two words (O or 1).

It seems impossible to happen on people, because our language is symbolic and we use it to formulate ideas in other own minds. When I think of people who have trouble conversing, always think of those with the inadequate ability to express their ideas listen to others. In order to solve this problem, would like quote a golden rule- treat other the way you want to be treated. P. 146 #2 and In Shimmer’s essay, “Chucking’, he introduced “corpora”, which is a large and structured set of texts (computer-driven analysis of usage patterns databases).

According to the article, corpora has en used to help English teacher, especially those who teach English as a second language, for it allows non-native speakers to learn the “lexical chunks” in order to speak English fluency and learn efficiency. It seems that the greatest advantage of using corpora is allowing students to learn the “authority’ language patterns. As Simmer says, chucking is the language acquisition that shows certain words undeniable attractions to certain others; therefore, non-native speakers could learn meaningful strings of words without make mistakes.

Instead of breaking the phrase into its components, honking simply combine the words together, and stop to think about it. Examples such as “make yourself at home”, “It was so nice meeting you”, “wont you come in” are commonly used in daily conversation. Thus, some people argued that teaching English in a certain combination is inadequate for dealing with novel ideas and creative writing. Furthermore, using chucking as the approach to learn English as second language is unrealistic, for there are tens or hundreds Of thousands of “collocations”.

I understand the methodology of the chucking approach, but I don’t like this method personally. I think back on when I began learning English as second language, and now my mind often travels to those certain phrases first entered my thinking process. When I took my English class in High School in China, my textbook are full of conversion such as “how are you” “fine, thank you, and you? ‘ After came to America, finally realized that when people ask me “how are you”, could have different reactions depending on my situation and mood.

Also, A British writer, Michael Swan indicates that learning an idioms and conventional speech routines without understand word-by-word is good hen talking about the familiar and the recurrent, but it is not sufficient to dealing with novels ideas and situations. As what I mentioned before, the negative effect of chucking could lead English learners stored and processed phrases in brain as individual units, so it could affect the confidence interval when they generate sentences in their own language. This situation actually happened on me.

When I’m talking or writing in English, I keep thinking on “is this sentence correct”, and I don’t feel confident to organize my thoughts and invert them into something someone else would understand. I am using this example purely based on my personal experience. In the article, according to Michael Swan’s opinion, formulaic expressions is not the key to learn English, yet other aspects such as ordinary vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and skills get sidelined. I just read Malcolm Ax’s essay entitled “Coming to an Awareness of Language “and noticed that how important to build up vocabulary and read books.

In regard to being a prisoner and not well-educated, Malcolm X mentions the inappropriate of using street slang in teeters when writing to a politician. In order to learn formal English and be able to communicate, he began to learn by himself from coping the words from a dictionary into his tablet and read his own handwriting. Once he learned enough words, he began to read books and eventually became a good writer. Those who are experts in English literature did not have the “collections” uploaded to their brain instantly, it took time, effort, interest, and more. Must invest time and energy in order to truly realize and express myself freely.

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