Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Whales Have Their Own Syntax That Uses Sound Units To Build Phrases That Can Be Combined

Whales Have Their Own Syntax That Uses Sound Units To Build Phrases That Can Be Combined: "The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours."

The Japanese don't have a syntax; the nearest they've got is a phonetic alphabet they nicked off Chinese (Japanophiles, correct me if I'm wrong); each word isn't comprised of alphabetic elements. Now it turns out whales have a syntactic language. This means their language, in terms of complexity and the usual standards of development, is more advanced than that of the Japanese. Who hunt whales for research = fodder = kicks. Welcome to Gilbert & Sullivan's Topsy-Turvidom.

2 comments:

grilly said...

"Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours."

does this mean we can use generative software to produce 'live' 'wale' 'song'?

i knew my degree had a use!

grilly said...

you should find out about markov models dan. they're fascinating.