|Barked: Sat Apr 15, '06 7:49am PST |
|I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what's what in the literature. One of the lines of research that appears to me to be sound (metholody appears to be better than most) is the work of a fellow named Slobodchikoff and his colleagues about prairie dog communication and social order.
This is a link to one of this guy's reports: http://grimpeur.tamu.edu/~colin/TheCognitiveAnimal/Ch/Slobodchikoff/ slobodchikoff-final.pdf (free content - hooray)
So it seems that they have something similar to a language - with features that mimic nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs (notice I say features - not words! I'm being cautious in case Khola takes me to task on this one ;-))
Anyone care to comment? Is it nonsense? Do we dogs have similar communication patterns or anything sophisticated like this?
More importantly - I'm inclined to infer that the prairie dogs HAVE to learn from others in the colony - the specifics within a particular colony's land can't possibly be the same, so they have to come up with ways to describe new phenomena.
Just a few thoughts.
Lep & Finnegan
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