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  1. #1 speech 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    What's more important in being able to make speech (or should I say being able to have language?), being physically able to (having vocal chords capable of producing a variety of sounds), or being psychologically able to (having the ability to make sense of the sounds produced by the vocal chords)?


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  3. #2  
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    Considering that deaf people can communicate with language, I'd say it's the latter.


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    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    good point. i didn't think of that (obviously). how about from an evolutionary standpoint? is it more important to be able to make the sounds or to be able to understand them? if the former is true, it means that if an organism can make the sounds, understanding and using them naturally comes along with that. if the latter is true, it means all the sounds in the world are pointless until the brain of the organism was developed sufficiently.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Well, many species of animals have forms of communication, through sound, body movement, coloration, scent, etc. Language (which I think is what you mean when you say speech) contains representations of abstract ideas, which is lacking in simpler animal communication. So in order to have language you really need the brain capacity to conceptualize abstract ideas. I think once you have that, nearly any form of communication could be adapted into a language, such as hand movements in sign language.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Parrots can talk, but have no understanding of what they say. Language, also, is more than just speech.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Parrots can talk, but have no understanding of what they say. Language, also, is more than just speech.
    Not necessarily. Smarter species can string some basic sentences together and will tell you the names and colors of objects. Alex the African Grey parrot was particularly famous for that.

    http://www.123compute.net/dreaming/knocking/alex.html

    Kind of long, but describes some of the things he could do. He most likely understands some of what he is saying, though as his owner herself says, it's still a long way from true language.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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