Talking Killer Whales? Gullible Science Journalists More Likely

Geoffrey Pullum, Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb 08, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We talk about literacies of various sorts but the enterprise begs the question: what counts as language? Geoffrey Pullum doesn'tt really tell us - though it has something to do with "the communication of simple ideas between people." But he's clear about things that are not languages. Music. Food. Sounds made by Orcas. " The claim that information transmission was demonstrated in the music is patently ridiculous," he writes. I think the definition of language as 'information transmission' is too narrow, and this mostly because I think that cognition is not information processing. But I will agree that journalists go over the side when talking about animals speaking human language. Image: LiveScience.

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