I understood that. But animals most of the time do not “say” what they mean or want to express because to say something you need linguistic tools like words. They express a tremendous number of things for sure. But we cannot say if this corresponds to any conceptualized element or just some contextualized and circumstantial expression of something that is instinctual or acquired on the basis of instincts or genetic abilities at doing this or that, the assembly of the elements being acquired. We can say that with bees. If bees are completely cut from daylight they cannot dance because they have no way to know where the sun is. Experiments have been done. Their dance is thus a communicational tool but that is determined by the source of light the sun is and they can know where the sun is even if it is not visible due to clouds but daylight is enough for them to know though in a dark tunnel like a train tunnel they can’t. Human language implies conceptualization. When do conceptualization start among hominids and hominins? And how can we measure the level of conceptualization of monkeys, apes, etc., in THEIR NATURAL HABITAT? We can record their linguistic exchanges and even body language with modern technology without disturbing them but that’s all we can do. To experiment would be quite difficult. the monkeys I have work on have calls for danger: one for leopard, one for eagle and apparently one for “falling wood.” Is it purely circumstantial and acquired or is it conceptualized, and what level of concept? The same monkeys on an isolated island off the coast of West Africa and on the continent seem to have some differences in their languages because one set do not have one enemy the other set has and they do not use the specific call for that danger. They have neutralized the specific call.

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Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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