Diagram That Sentence!
Noam Chomsky not-withstanding, I've always thought birds, if any other animal, were likely to have some kind of grammar rules. There're just so many variations in birdsong. And that's just what I get from mornings reading and smokin' on the back porch.
Songbirds May Be Able to Learn Grammar
By SETH BORENSTEIN,
AP Science Writer Wed Apr 26, 9:59 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The simplest grammar, long thought to be one of the skills that separate man from beast, can be taught to a common songbird, new research suggests.
Starlings learned to differentiate between a regular birdsong "sentence" and one containing a clause or another sentence of warbling, according to a study in Thursday's journal Nature. It took University of California at San Diego psychology researcher Tim Gentner a month and about 15,000 training attempts, with food as a reward, to get the birds to recognize the most basic of grammar in their own bird language.
Yet what they learned may shake up the field of linguistics.
I wonder how it'll develope over the coming many many MANY millenia. Probably into nothing like human speech. It's just cool to see the structure "diagrammed" like a human sentence.