The difference between animal and human

Difference between animal and human communication
Language is an invaluable possession of the human race. Man is clearly distinguished from
other species by his capacity of using language. Human beings have an organized form of
languages. There are innumerable languages exist around the world. Animals also
communicate in one or the other way. This communication method or language is not organized
as human language and entirely different from human communication method, biologically and
Human Language
Language is the most effective method of human communication. The term language is derived
from the Latin word lingua meaning tongue. Human language is in organized form. It is an open
entity, new words or meanings may come into use. Language is as important as breathing.
Barnett says, “Verbal communication is a condition of the existence of human society.”
Language helps man in several ways. It enables him to reach back into collective knowledge of
his ancestors. It is through language that human beings collect and preserve knowledge and
transfer it to the next generation. Most of the linguists disclose the fact that human language has
different types of realizations such as written form, spoken form. Human language has signifier
and signified.
Animal communication
Animals also can communicate. Some animals and birds like dog, dolphins, gibbons, herring
gulls and honey bees have developed their own system of communication. But their
communication system differs from human communication. Animal communication lacks
flexibility and creativity. Their communication tradition is acquired genetically and not through
Human language has got certain properties which makes it unique and different from animal
communication system. These properties are duality, creativity, displacement, arbitrariness,
interchangeability etc.
The main differences between animal and human communications.
The primary difference between human communication and animal communication is the duality
of structure of human language. Each human language has got a fixed number of sound units
called phonemes. These phonemes are combined to make morphemes. Thus language has got
two levels of patterning which is not prevailed in animal communication.
Yet another distinctive feature of human communication is creativity. Human beings use their
linguistic resources to produce new expressions and new sentences. They arrange and
rearrange phonemes, morphemes, words and phrases to create new modes of expression. This
is also called open- endedness of language. Animal communication is closed system they
cannot produce new vocal signals to communicate novel events or experience.
Human beings can talk of real or imaginary situations, places and objects far removed from their
present surroundings and time. Human language is context free whereas animal communication
mostly context bound. Animal communication is merely a response to stimulus in the immediate
environment like the presence of food or danger.
Human language is interchangeable. Both sexes of human beings can use the same language
interchangeably. But certain communications in animal world are performed only by one sex of
that sect. Bee dancing is performed by worker bees.
The important disparity is human language is culturally transmitted. Thus human beings brought
up in different culture acquire different languages also by the influence of other culture man can
learn other languages in course of time. But animals lack in this capacity. Their communication
ability is transmitted biologically so they are unable to acquire other languages.
Human language is a symbolic system. Hence human language is not only uttered but also can
be displayed by writing with the help of certain symbols called alphabets of that language.
Animal communication fails to disclose in this manner. Hence ideas or main events of any time
cannot be preserved for the future generation of that sect.
Biological differences also play a vital role in communication. Human vocal cords can produce a
large number of sounds. Each human language makes its own selection of sounds for it use.
Animal and birds have an entirely different biological structure with regard to the formation of
Human language is entirely different from animal communication. Human language has many
properties which makes it different from animal communication. Human language has alphabets
which help man to write down and preserve ideas for coming generations. Animal
communication is context bound, they cannot communicate any experience of past. Animal
communication is biologically transmitted thus it cannot learn any other languages. Some birds
like parrot may imitate human utterances but it reiterate the words without knowing meaning
also fails to learn more words. If they try to learn new utterance the older ones get erased.
Whereas human beings can imitate the sounds of animals and make them respond to the
sounds easily. Hence human communication or human language is a unique one which is the
sole property of him.
1 Kuriakose,K.P, An Introduction to Linguistics,2002,Gayatrhri Publishers,7-11
2 Hockett F Charles, A Course in Modern Linguistic,1970,The Macmillan Company,570-580