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Human whistled language may provide a model of how to study dolphin communication

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Whistling at work is more than just distracting. More than 80 cultures have adopted a whistling format in their native language for long-distance communication. Interdisciplinary teams of scientists believe that some of these whistled languages ​​serve as models for elucidating how information is encoded in dolphin whistling communications.They made their claim in a new treatise published in the journal Psychology Frontier..


blow a whistle Human speech It has evolved primarily where people live in rugged terrain, such as mountains and dense forests. This is because the sound travels farther than normal conversations and screams. These whistled languages ​​vary by region and culture, but the basic principles are the same. People simplify words by syllable into whistling melodies.

Trained Whistler can understand an amazing amount of information. For example, in whistling Turkish, a typical whistling sentence is understood with an up to 90 percent chance. This ability to extract meaning from whistling speech has attracted linguists and other researchers who are interested in how to investigate complexity. Human brain process And even create language..

The idea that human whistled speech can also be a model for how mammals like band dolphins communicate is based on the work of French researcher René-Guy Busnel, who pioneered the study of whistled language. It first appeared in the 1960s. Recently, some of Busnel’s former colleagues have collaborated to investigate the potential synergies between bottlenose dolphins and humans with the largest brains relative to their body size on Earth.

Humans and dolphins make sounds and convey information in different ways, but the structures and attributes found throughout humans. whistle Language may provide insights Bottlenose dolphin Encodes complex information, according to co-author Diana Reiss, a professor of psychology at Hunter College in the United States, whose research focuses on understanding the cognition and communication of dolphins and other cetaceans.

Dr. Julien Meyer, a linguist and lead author at the Gipsa Lab at the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), gave the following example: The listener’s ability to decipher human language and whistled language depends on the listener’s linguistic ability, such as understanding phonemes. , A unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another. However, sound images, called ultrasonography, are not always segmented by silence between these units in human whistling speech.

“In contrast, scientists trying to decipher the whistling communication of dolphins and other whistling species often classify whistling based on the quiet spacing between whistling,” Reiss said. increase. In other words, researchers classify whistling animal communication based on the sonogram’s clarification of how information is structurally communicated in human whistling speech. You may need to rethink.

Meyer, Reiss, and co-author Dr. Marcelo Magnasco, a biophysicist and professor at Rockefeller University, discussed this in their paper to develop new techniques for analyzing dolphin whistles. We plan to apply insights and other insights. They have collected dolphin whistling data edited by Reiss and Magnasco since 2003 at CNRS, the University of Lyon, the Emilio Goerdi Museum in Brazil, and several non-profit research groups focused on whistling and musical instruments. It will be used together with the database of whistling speeches. speech (The World Whistles, Yo Silbo, Silbo herreño).

“For example, we will develop new algorithms for these data and test some hypotheses about the combination structure,” referring to phoneme-like language components that can be combined to give meaning. Meyer said.

Scientists have already used machine learning and AI to track dolphins in videos and identify dolphin barks, Magnasco said. But to use an AI algorithm that can “decipher” dolphin whistling communications, Reiss said, “What are the smallest units of meaningful sound, how they are organized and how they work. I need to know if. ”


Whistling Turkish challenges concepts about language and brain


For more information:
Relevance of human whistled language for analysis and decipherment of dolphin communication, Psychology Frontier (2021). DOI: 10.3389 / fpsyg.2021.689501

Quote: Human whistled language is dolphin communication acquired from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-human-languages-dolphin.html on September 21, 2021 (September 21, 2021) May provide a model of how to study

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Human whistled language may provide a model of how to study dolphin communication

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