Of dogs, apes, and humans

It's the late afternoon and you are in the kitchen, idly beginning to think about dinner, at the end of a long day at work. Suddenly the peace is shattered by the noisy entrance of your dog and your
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It’s the late afternoon and you are in the kitchen, idly beginning to think about dinner, at the end of a long day at work. Suddenly the peace is shattered by the noisy entrance of your dog and your son. Your dog sits by his empty bowl and looks at you with beseeching eyes. If he thinks that you’re not reacting quickly enough, he may produce a single attention-grabbing bark. Your son says: “When do we eat?” On the face of it, your dog and your son have done the same thing: they both, each in his own way, have communicated the same content, that is, “Feed me, I’m hungry!” Admittedly, your son has done so in a rather more articulated way, but that could be a detail. Now your son might go on: “And what do we eat?” This is something that, arguably, dogs can’t do. And, reacting to your answer, your son might say: “But I don’t like fish! Why can’t we have steak instead?” Again, this seems well out of the. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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