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Language Capacity: Human and Non-Human

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Does empirical scholarly evidence suggest a quantitative or a qualitative difference in language capacity between humans and non-human primates? Please do not copy and paste or quote. Please give scholarly references to support your position. Thank you.

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The question of difference in language capacity rests, perhaps unsurprisingly, on definitions of the given terms. For example, when we speak of a 'qualitative' difference, this can be meant two ways: (1) as regards the quality of it within itself, and (2) as regards the quality of it in comparison to the human language. One need not look very far to see why this distinction is important: even though English is an amalgamation of several dialects in the ...

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The capacity of language between human and non-human primates is discussed in brief, as regards potential qualitative and quantitative difference, drawing on examples from other species as well.

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The ability of primates to learn languages: theory supported by Descartes of Hobbes?

Modern research on the ability of non-human primates to learn language has found that certain species are capable of learning to use symbolic gestures or visual symbols to represent objects and concepts. However, none of these species could ever be taught the ability to combine these symbols in novel ways to create new expressions as humans do on a daily basis. In other words, the difference in language abilities between humans and nonhuman primates is qualitative rather than quantitative. Does this finding support Descartes' or Hobbes' view of the human mind? Why or why not?

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