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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Elephants communicate using vocalizations similar to human names

• arclein
"Dolphins and parrots call one another by 'name' by imitating the signature call of the addressee," said Michael Pardo, the study's lead and corresponding author. "By contrast, our data suggest that elephants do not rely on imitation of the receiver's calls to address one another, which is more similar to the way in which human names work." Human language is arbitrary because the words we use are just labels. It's not possible to deduce the underlying meaning from the form of a word. There's nothing about a 'table,' for example, that makes it a table; it's just an agreed-upon term. Because it's not imitative, arbitrary communication is considered more cognitively demanding.