I haven't looked in an anthropology book in a long time, but back when I was in college, it was commonly stated that one of the things that separated us from the "apes" was tool use. This notion was destroyed (supposedly) when chimpanzees were observed taking bamboo reeds and sticking them into ant and termite hills, pulling them out slowly and then eating the critters stuck to the reeds. As interesting as that observation was, I have yet to see a chimpanzee build an aircraft carrier, so I think it's fair to say we have things pretty well locked up when it comes to using tools.
The same anthropological arguments can be made about our use of language, another activity that researchers say distinguishes us from other animals. There were those who tried to make a big deal about the signals that dolphins and whales send to each other underwater, as if that constituted some sophisticated form of language. If dolphins had complex language skills and were really communicating high-level ideas with each other, we would have seen them on Capitol Hill lobbying against the tuna industry.
I once saw a science show where they recorded bird songs and then analyzed them by playing them back at greatly reduced speed, so all the peaks and troughs of their frequency waves could be seen. It all started to look very complicated, as if we might have overlooked some sophisticated language that birds have been using under our noses all this time. Sorry Charlie. Any time you break something down into its components, it begins to look complicated. If you begin thinking about the motions of atoms in your pillowcase while you're going to sleep, it will keep you up. That doesn't mean pillowcases are intellectually sophisticated.
It's true they taught chimpanzees sign language, but it's clear the species didn't quite see the value of it, as they prefer to communicate by screeching and wacking each other with bananas. So, I think it's fair to say that humans have it locked up when it comes to language as well. 24HourAnswers.com has staff people with degrees in English, writing, and literature to provide effective language homework help. It's no wonder that students come to us to get the help they need with their English and writing assignments.
Language lovers must visit the websites of two important organizations. The first is the Linguistic Society of America, and the second is the International Linguistic Association.
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