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Title: Did Alex Have Language?
Authors: Hudin, Jennifer
Keywords: animalsDavidsonSearle
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Jennifer Hudin, "Did Alex Have Language?", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XI (2009) 1, pp. 271-290.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XI (2009) 1
This paper argues that the utterances made by the renowned talking parrot, Alex, were not
only meaningful and sincere, they counted as a language. Three arguments are considered in
favor of this claim: 1) Alex demonstrated the capacity for recursion, 2) Alex satised the
Davidsonian requirements for a talking entity to have language, and 3) Alex satised the
Searlean requirements for making speech acts. The paper concludes that the pieces of
human language that Alex most readily acquired and those pieces that he lacked might
point out a kind of evolutionary path by which our ancestors acquired the language that we
now speak.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2009) XI/1

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