COMMUNICATION STUDIES ON TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS.
Final annual rept. Mar 62-Feb 64,
COMMUNICATION RESEARCH INST MIAMI FLA
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This paper calls attention to the large brain of Tursiops truncatus and comparisons are made of this brain with mans brain. The working hypothesis is proposed that there is a critical absolute brain size below which language, as we know it, is impossible and above which language, as we know it, is possible and even probable. Tursiops has a brain above this critical level soon after birth. Material from two separate research results on human children is cited. One giving the statistical average of the acquisition of the first stages of the basic elements of human speech, the other is the average brain weight at the same age. In each study there were several hundreds of cases. The critical size is shown to be approximately 900 to 1000 grams in the case of the human. Observations by the author on an infant Tursiops show that this animal did not acquire the precise clicking of the adult until its brain reached 1000 grams, measured at autopsy. Such results are suggestive that this species is quite capable of language behavior. The problem then resides in determining whether or not there is a natural language andor whether Tursiops can acquire an artificial language. Author