Language News: CBS covers Dolphin language skills

When we think about animal communication (or, more controversially, animal language), people generally think of birds like Alex the Parrot or of primate research like that which was done with Koko or Nim Chimsky.  We often forget about the communication of marine life.  Here’s a nice write-up on Denise Herzing, a researcher with the Wild Dolphin project, who has been developing a system for Dolphins and humans to communicate with one another based, this story claims, on the technique used to communicate with aliens on Close Encounters of the Third Kind:

Dolphins, humans, learning common language – CBS News.

Read about it here, and share it with your students!


About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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