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动物有语言吗? – 译学馆
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动物有语言吗?

Do animals have language? - Michele Bishop

所有动物都会交流
All animals communicate.
螃蟹彼此挥动它们的钳子
Crabs wave their claws
表示它们很健康
at each other to signal that they’re healthy
并准备配对
and ready to mate.
乌贼使用有色皮肤细胞即色素细胞
Cuttlefish use pigmented skin cellscalled chromatophores
在它们的皮肤上创造图案用于伪装
to create patterns on their skinthat act as camouflage
或警告对手
or warnings to rivals.
蜜蜂表演复杂的舞蹈
Honeybees perform complex dances
让其它蜜蜂知道其位置和食物来源的质量
to let other bees know the location and quality of a food source.
所有这些动物都有令人钦佩的交流系统
All of these animals have impressivecommunication systems,
但它们有语言吗?
but do they have language?
为了解答这个问题
To answer that question,
我们来看看经常和语言联系在一起的4种特性:
we can look at four specific qualities that are often associated with language:
不连续性 语法 生产性 替代性
discreteness, grammar, productivity, and displacement.
不连续性指的是一系列的独立单位
Discreteness means that there is a setof individual units,
例如声音或词语
such as sounds or words,
能够被组织起来用于交流新想法
that can be combinedto communicate new ideas,
就像一系列的冰箱字母磁贴 你可以重新排列
like a set of refrigerator poetry magnetsyou can rearrange
来创造不同的词组
to create different phrases.
语法提供一个规则系统
Grammar provides a system
告诉你怎样整合那些独立的单元
of rules that tells you how to combine those individual units.
生产性是指运用语言创造
Productivity is the abilityto use language
无数信息的能力
to create an infinite number of messages.
而替代性是指谈论不在
And displacement is the abilityto talk about things
你眼前的事物的能力
that aren’t right in front of you,
例如过去 未来 或者虚构的事物
such as past, future, or fictional events. So,
动物的交流会显现出这些特性吗
does animal communication exhibitany of these qualities?
对螃蟹和乌贼来说 答案是否定的
For crabs and cuttlefish,the answer is no.
它们不会用创造性的方式整合它们的信号
They don’t combine their signalsin creative ways.
那些信号也不需遵循语法规则
Those signals also don’t have to bein a grammatical order,
而且它们只交流当前的情况
and they only communicatecurrent conditions,
例如 “我很健康”或者“我有毒”
like,”I am healthy,”or”I am poisonous.”
但实际上 有些动物确实显示了一些特性
But some animals actually do displaysome of these properties.
蜜蜂通过它们摇摆舞蹈的位置变动
Bees use the moves, angle, duration,
角度 持续时间和强度
and intensity of their waggle dance
表明食物来源的位置和丰富度
to describe the location and richnessof a food source.
来源位于蜂巢外
That source is outside the hive,
因此它们显示出替代性
so they exhibit the propertyof displacement.
它们和草原犬鼠具有相同的语言特征
They share that language traitwith prairie dogs,
草原犬鼠是群居生活动物
which live in towns of thousands,
并会被狼 老鹰 獾和人类所猎杀
and are hunted by coyotes, hawks,badgers, snakes, and humans.
它们的警报声能表明捕食者的大小 体型 速度
Their alarms calls indicatethe predator’s size, shape, speed, and,
甚至能表明猎人的穿着
even for human predators,what the person is wearing
以及是否携带枪支
and if he’s carrying a gun.
类人猿 例如黑猩猩和大猩猩 也是优秀的交流者
Great apes, like chimps and gorillas,are great communicators, too.
有些类人猿甚至习得了一种改良的手语
Some have even learneda modified sign language.
一只名为华秀的黑猩猩通过把多种手势
A chimpanzee named Washoedemonstrated discreteness
组合成初级的词组来表明不连续性
by combining multiple signsinto original phrases,
例如“请开门 快点”
like,”Please open. Hurry.”
可可 一只能够理解超过1000种手势
Coco, a female gorilla who understandsmore than 1000 signs,
和大约2000个英语口语单词的母猩猩
and around 2000 words of spoken English
她曾和一只已逝的小猫是挚友
referred to a beloved kittenthat had died.
在这种情况下 她显示出替代性
In doing so, she displayed displacement,
值得注意的是 这些
though it’s worth noting that the apes
例子里的类人猿
in both of these examples
都运用了人类交流系统
were using a human communication system,
但它们没有一只是纯粹野生的
not one that appearednaturally in the wild.
还有很多其它关于富有经验的动物交流的例子
There are many other examplesof sophisticated animal communication,
例如海豚 它们通过嘶鸣声辨别年龄 位置
such as in dolphins, which use whistles to identify age, location,
姓名和性别
names, and gender.
它们也能理解一些被用于
They can also understand some grammar
和它们交流的形体语言的语法
in a gestural language researchers use to communicate with them. However,
然而 海豚的自然交流并没有体现出语法性
grammar is not seenin the dolphin’s natural communication.
虽然这些交流系统会有一些我们
While these communication systems may have some of the qualities
鉴定出来的语言特性
of language we’ve identified,
但没有一个显示出全部四种
none display all four.
甚至连华秀和可可令人钦佩的能力也只赶上
Even Washoe and Coco’s impressiveabilities are still outpaced
大部分三岁小孩的语言能力
by the language skillsof most three-year-old humans.
并且动物交流的主题通常是受限的
And animals’ topics of conversationare usually limited.
蜜蜂交谈食物 草原犬鼠交谈捕食者
Bees talk about food, prairie dogs talk about predators,
而螃蟹交谈它们自身
and crabs talk about themselves.
人类语言因语法性和生产性
Human language stands alone
的强大结合和熟练掌握不连续性和
due to the powerful combinationof grammar and productivity,
替代性而独一无二
on top of discreteness and displacement.
人类大脑能够运用有限要素
The human brain can takea finite number of elements
创造出无限信息
and create an infinite number of messages.
我们能够创造并理解复杂句子
We can craft and understandcomplex sentences,
和从未被提及的词语
as well as words that have neverbeen spoken before.
我们能够运用语言交流
We can use language to communicate
无止境的话题
about an endless range of subjects,
交谈虚构的事物
talk about imaginary things,
甚至说谎
and even lie.
研究继续揭露了越来越多的动物交流方法
Research continues to reveal moreand more about animal communication.
结果可能是人类语言和动物交流并非完全不同
It may turn out that human languageand animal communication
两者存在于一个连续统一体
aren’t entirely differentbut exist on a continuum.
毕竟 我们都是动物
After all, we are all animals.

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视频概述

动物交流和人类语言的不同

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1FY5kL_zXU

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