LINGUIST List 15.3235

Thu Nov 18 2004

Books: Cognitive Science: Anderson

Editor for this issue: Neil Salmond <>

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        1.    Brian McKay, Doctor Dolittle's Delusion: Anderson

Message 1: Doctor Dolittle's Delusion: Anderson

Date: 18-Nov-2004
From: Brian McKay <>
Subject: Doctor Dolittle's Delusion: Anderson

Title: Doctor Dolittle's Delusion
Subtitle: Animals and the Uniqueness of Human Language
Published: 2004
Publisher: Yale University Press

Book URL:

Author: Stephen R. Anderson, Yale University

Hardback: ISBN: 0300103395 Pages: 368 Price: U.S. $ 35.00


In Doctor Dolittle's Delusion, Anderson demonstrates that animals, although
having interesting properties of their own communication system, are not
capable of acquiring or using human language. Using as a background High
Lofting's books, Doctor Dolittle's Delusion illustrates the nature of human
language against the communicative abilities of other species. Recently
interviewed in the New York Times (Did the Cat Really Say 'I Vant to be
Alone'? Sorry, It Said Meow - 9/17/04) Anderson argues that Rico, Koko the
ape, and other animals are extremely clever but that this falls within the
bounds of what we know animals can do and that these behaviors should not
be considered as 'language.'

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG )

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