Summary/Analysis: Is Language the Key to Human Intelligence? Essay

Summary/Analysis: Is Language the Key to Human Intelligence? Essay

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The article Is Language the Key to Human Intelligence? , Written by David Premack a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains how humans have displayed their intelligence through language, unlike animals whose language, (any) hasn’t evolved at all. Premack uses examples such as grammar and syntax of the human language and explains the uniqueness and evolution of language over time. He claims humans have humans have six symbols system: “two that evolved- the genetic code and spoken language- and four that we invented: written language, Arabic numerals, music notation, and lab notation (a system for coding choreography)”. One word that he puts emphasis time over time is Recursion (“makes it possible for the words in a sentence to be widely separated and yet dependent on one another”); claiming that humans have learned both recursive and non-recursive grammar, while tamarin monkeys failed to learn a recursive grammar. This experiment he states may help to explain why language in animals hasn’t evolved over a period of time. Premack also examined other factors...

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