Navigation Links
An Elephant That Speaks Korean?
Date:11/1/2012

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Koshik the Asian elephant can "speak" and make himself understood to humans using five words of Korean, according to a new report.

Researchers say Koshik's ability to imitate the five words provides new insights into the biology and evolution of complex vocal learning, an ability that is critical for human speech.

The five words spoken by the elephant can be readily understood by people who speak Korean. The words include annyong (hello), anja (sit down), aniya (no), nuo (lie down) and choah (good).

Koshik vocalizes with his trunk in his mouth, according to the study in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Current Biology.

"Human speech basically has two important aspects, pitch and timbre," study author Angela Stoeger, of the University of Vienna in Austria, said in a journal news release. "Intriguingly, the elephant Koshik is capable of matching both pitch and timbre patterns: He accurately imitates human formants as well as the voice pitch of his trainers. This is remarkable considering the huge size, the long vocal tract and other anatomical differences between an elephant and a human."

She noted that elephants have a trunk instead of lips and while their large larynx can produce very low-pitched sounds, Koshik's can exactly match the pitch and characteristics of his human trainers' voices.

A structural analysis of the elephant's speech not only showed clear similarities to human voices, but also clear differences to the usual calls of elephants.

Koshik's unusual vocal ability may stem from when he was a juvenile and spent five years as the only elephant at a South Korean zoo. Humans were his only social contacts during this important period for elephant bonding and development.

"We suggest that Koshik started to adapt his vocalizations to his human companions to strengthen social affiliation, something that is also seen in other vocal-learning species -- and in very special cases, also across species," Stoeger said.

More information

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association outlines children's speech and language development.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Current Biology, news release, Nov. 1, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Autism Speaks creates Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC
2. Mary Rieser of Narconon Georgia Speaks Out For United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse
3. Autism Speaks provides strategies to help a child with autism shows difficult behaviors
4. Automated autism screening tool available on Autism Speaks website
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
An Elephant That Speaks Korean?
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online details ... to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only the ... and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today announced ... and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two dispensaries ... manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components ... replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory ... testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in ... Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer ... to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. ... testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ... announced today that it was added to the Russell ... comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on ... milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert ... progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: