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  • All animals communicate.

    所有動物都具有溝通能力

  • Crabs wave their claws at each other to signal that they're healthy and ready to mate.

    螃蟹相互揮舞它們的雙螯,表示自己身體健康,已準備好交配

  • Cuttlefish use pigmented skin cells called chromatophores to create patterns on their skin that act as camouflage, or warnings to rivals.

    當烏賊遇到危險或敵人時,可用皮膚中的色素細胞幫自己變裝,以便躲藏或給予警告

  • Honeybees perform complex dances to let other bees know the location and quality of a food source.

    蜜蜂跳著高難度的舞蹈,告知夥伴食物的位置和品質

  • All of these animals have impressive communication systems,

    這些動物都具有獨特的溝通系統

  • but do they have language?

    但牠們是否具有語言呢?

  • To answer that question,

    要回答這個問題

  • we can look at four specific qualities that are often associated with language,

    我們可先來說說,語言的四種特質

  • discreteness,

    分立性、

  • grammar,

    規則性、

  • productivity,

    創新性、

  • and displacement.

    和置換性

  • Discreteness means that there is a set of individual units, such as sounds or words

    「分立性」的意思是,語言具有獨立的元件,例如聲音或字詞

  • that can be combined to communicate new ideas,

    可以經由組合而產生新的意思

  • like a set of refrigerator poetry magnets you can rearrange to create different phrases.

    就像冰箱上的單字磁鐵一樣,你可以將它重新排列,創造不同的片語

  • Grammar provides a system of rules that tells you how to combine those individual units.

    「規則性」指該語言具有組合那些單字的文法規則

  • Productivity is the ability to use language to create an infinite number of messages.

    「創新性」是指,語言使用者具有表達無數訊息的能力

  • And displacement is the ability to talk about things that aren't right in front of you,

    「置換性」則是指語言使用者具有談論非當前事件的能力

  • such as past, future, or fictional events.

    像是過去、未來或虛構事件

  • So, does animal communication exhibit any of these qualities?

    那麼,動物的溝通系統,是否具備上述任何特質?

  • For crabs and cuttlefish, the answer is no.

    螃蟹和烏賊沒有

  • They don't combine their signals in creative ways.

    因為牠們無法表達創新的訊息

  • Those signals also don't have to be in a grammatical order,

    牠們的訊息也不具文法結構

  • and they only communicate current conditions like, "I am healthy," or "I am poisonous."

    而且牠們只能表達當前的狀態,像是「我身體健康」或「我有毒」

  • But some animals actually do display some of these properties.

    然而,確實有些動物具有一些語言特質

  • Bees use the moves, angle, duration, and intensity of their waggle dance

    例如,蜜蜂透過八字形搖擺舞的舞姿、角度、時間和力道

  • to describe the location and richness of a food source.

    描述食物的位置和多寡

  • That source is outside the hive,

    因為所描述的食物位於蜂巢之外的他處

  • so they exhibit the property of displacement.

    所以說,牠們具有「置換性」的特質

  • They share that language trait with prairie dogs which live in towns of thousands

    土撥鼠也具有這樣的特質,牠們一個聚落有上千個同類

  • and are hunted by coyotes, hawks, badgers, snakes, and humans.

    郊狼、鷹、獾、蛇和人類是牠們的天敵

  • Their alarms calls indicate the predator's size, shape, speed

    他們吱吱的叫聲,可表達掠食者的大小、體型、移動速度

  • and, even for human predators, what the person is wearing

    甚至是人類穿甚麼衣服

  • and if he's carrying a gun.

    以及是否配槍

  • Great apes, like chimps and gorillas, are great communicators, too.

    像黑猩猩和大猩猩,這類的大型猿類動物,也善於溝通

  • Some have even learned a modified sign language.

    有些甚至學會利用手語,來表達自己

  • A chimpanzee named Washoe demonstrated discreteness

    一隻叫華秀的黑猩猩,組合多個手勢

  • by combining multiple signs into original phrases like, "Please open. Hurry."

    比出「快幫我開門」的句子,這顯示了「分立性」的語言特質

  • Coco, a female gorilla who understands more than 1000 signs

    另一隻叫可可的雌性大猩猩,能理解超過 1000 條手語單詞

  • and around 2000 words of spoken English,

    以及約莫 2000 個英文單字

  • referred to a beloved kitten that had died.

    在牠心愛的小貓去世後,用手語比出牠難過的心情

  • In doing so, she displayed displacement,

    雖然這顯示出「置換性」的特質

  • though it's worth noting that the apes in both of these examples were using a human communication system,

    但兩隻猩猩學的,都是人類的溝通系統,並非天生具有的能力

  • not one that appeared naturally in the wild.

    不是在自然狀態下產生的

  • There are many other examples of sophisticated animal communication,

    還有很多其他動物,具有複雜的溝通系統

  • such as in dolphins

    像是海豚

  • which use whistles to identify age, location, names, and gender.

    利用對方的鳴叫聲,辨識出牠的年齡、位置、名字和性別

  • They can also understand some grammar in a gestural language researchers use to communicate with them.

    海豚研究員用手語和牠們互動時,牠們也能了解其中一些文法

  • However, grammar is not seen in the dolphin's natural communication.

    然而,文法並不存在於海豚天生的溝通系統中

  • While these communication systems may have some of the qualities of language we've identified,

    以上這些動物的溝通系統或許真的具備了一些語言特質

  • none display all four.

    但並不俱全

  • Even Washoe and Coco's impressive abilities are still outpaced

    華秀和可可驚人的能力

  • by the language skills of most three-year-old humans.

    還是遠遠輸給了一個三歲小孩的語言能力

  • And animals' topics of conversation are usually limited.

    而且動物交流的內容廣泛度通常是有限的

  • Bees talk about food,

    蜜蜂總是關切著食物

  • prairie dogs talk about predators,

    土撥鼠離不開天敵的問題

  • and crabs talk about themselves.

    而螃蟹的話題都圍繞在自己身上

  • Human language stands alone

    只有人類的語言具備所有特質

  • due to the powerful combination of grammar and productivity on top of discreteness and displacement.

    除了「分立性」和「置換性」之外,還有「規則性」和「創新性」強化了我們的溝通能力

  • The human brain can take a finite number of elements and create an infinite number of messages.

    人類能用有限的文字量創造出不計其數的訊息

  • We can craft and understand complex sentences

    我們能夠精巧地創造及理解複雜的句子

  • as well as words that have never been spoken before.

    還能創造出新的單字

  • We can use language to communicate about an endless range of subjects,

    我們可以無邊無際地暢所欲言

  • talk about imaginary things and even lie.

    談論著自己的幻想世界,甚至能說謊

  • Research continues to reveal more and more about animal communication.

    更多關於動物溝通的研究持續公布於世

  • It may turn out that human language and animal communication aren't entirely different but exist on a continuum.

    也許最後會發現,人類的語言和動物的溝通系統並非完全不同,而是有關聯的

  • After all, we are all animals.

    畢竟,我們都是動物

All animals communicate.

所有動物都具有溝通能力

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 溝通 語言 動物 手語 能力

【Ted-Ed】原來動物們都有自己的一套語言!(Do animals have language? - Michele Bishop)

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