Human Language and Animal Communication Systems Linguistics Paper
Your final paper should discuss similarities and differences between the human language and animal communication systems. You should compare and contrast the two systems in one or more of the following aspects:
Your final paper should be around 2,000 words. As for formatting, I recommend 12 point font, double spaced,1 inch margin all around. As for citation, direct quotes from class materials are prohibited. You should explain or describe them in your own words. If you incorporate materials from elsewhere, you must cite your sources properly. You can choose any citation style (e.g. APA, MLA, IEEE) as long as you are consistent throughout the paper.
I will grade your paper according to the following rubrics:
– Ideas and Content: whether your paper contained insightful theses supported by relevant, accurate, and specific evidence from appropriate sources
– Organization: whether your paper followed a clear and logical train of thought
– Originality: whether the ideas are expressed in your own words
– Conventions: whether you used correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, citation (if any)
This assignment pertains to learning objectives CLO4, CLO5, and GELO2:
Here are some information might be helpful:
Q: You suggested that we compare/contrast in terms of mechanism, ontogeny, function, phylogeny, complexity. How many of those aspects should we address in the paper — just one, all of them, or any number of them?
A: Any number of them.
I recommend that you specify what aspects of communication you plan to discuss early on in the paper (e.g. in the introductory paragraph).
Q: Do we pick just one animal (e.g. bottlenose dolphins) and compare its language with humans or can we discuss more than one?
A: As many animals as you find relevant to the discussion.
To be more precise, the goal of the assignment is to let you think about how human language is similar to and different from languages of other animals in general. That is, the focus is on humans rather than a particular animal of your interest.
So a structure that I recommend is first list several properties of human language that you want to focus on and then find examples of one or more animals to compare/contrast for each property. If you know well enough to find all the materials from a single animal species, that is perfectly fine. But if not, feel free to bring up as many animals as you need.