Mission of the Animal Language Institute
The mission of the Animal Language Institute is as follows:
- To provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the communication systems of other species
- To provide an opportunity for researchers and interested parties to network, collaborate, and exchange ideas
- To provide a forum for discussions about animal language, including comparisons between different species
- To provide a repository and clearinghouse for research and related information about animal language
- To provide a forum for the exchange of information about analytical methods, techniques, and equipment
- To provide an online bibliography of research papers which explore animal language and communication
Human language presupposes several important elements;
- A rule-governed grammar that is known and shared by all speakers of a language
- The intention by speakers to communicate and transfer meaningful information
- The use of language as a tool to manipulate one’s own environment and affect the behavior of others
While we are not claiming that animal language is equivalent to human language, we feel that there is a possibility that animal communication systems might share these three elements.
Although it has not been proven that animal communication follows rules, that animals are aware of themselves or others, or that they deliberately communicate to manipulate their environment or other animals, it is the position of the Animal Language Institute that enough evidence exists to point to the possibility that animals might have languages that meet their needs as well as our languages meet our needs.
The Animal Language Institute welcomes open-minded thinkers who are willing to grant this possibility to other species, in recognition that the gap between us and other species might not be that great after all.
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