book cover of Animal Languages

Animal Languages

(2019)
A non fiction book by

 
 
How animals speak to each other and to humans, from chimpanzees who learn sign language to dogs who parse the meaning of other dogs' growls.

Is language what sets humans apart from other animals, as many have argued? Or do animals speak in their own languages, to each other and to us? In Animal Languages, Eva Meijer explores the latter possibility.

Meijer tells us about Alex, the gray parrot who knew more than one hundred words, and Chaser, the border collie who had a talent for grammar. She introduces us to Washoe, the chimpanzee who grew up with humans and learned sign language; Kosik, the elephant who spoke to humans in human language and to his female elephant companion in elephant language; and Noc, the beluga whale who mimicked human speech. She tells us that dogs are able to interpret the meaning of other dogs' growls; that prairie dogs have alarm calls that offer informative details about intruders (specifying, among other things, size, color, and speed of approach); and that marmosets take turns in conversations and teach this skill to their offspring.

But beyond all these interesting details, Meijer makes a more profound observation. Talking with animals forces us to challenge the hierarchy of humans and other animals, and suggests a new way of thinking about language. Animal Languages shows us that language is broader and richer than we imagined, and that meaningful expression does not require human words.



Similar books by other authors

thumb
The Fourth Man
(Jack Reacher, book 23.5)
Lee Child

Used availability for Eva Meijer's Animal Languages

Hardback Editions

February 2020 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: Animal Languages (The MIT Press)
Author(s): Eva Meijer
ISBN: 0-262-04403-X / 978-0-262-04403-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Availability: Amazon   


August 2019 : UK Hardback
thumb

Title: Animal Languages: The secret conversations of the living world
Author(s): Eva Meijer
ISBN: 1-4736-7767-X / 978-1-4736-7767-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: John Murray
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

August 2020 : UK Paperback

Title: Animal Languages: The secret conversations of the living world
Author(s): Eva Meijer
ISBN: 1-4736-7768-8 / 978-1-4736-7768-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: John Murray
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


November 2019 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Animal Languages: The secret conversations of the living world
Author(s): Eva Meijer
ISBN: 1-4736-7770-X / 978-1-4736-7770-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: John Murray
Availability: Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

November 2019 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Animal Languages: The secret conversations of the living world
Author(s): Eva Meijer
Publisher: John Murray
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU