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:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger Co. Inc ., the ... has been recognized as one of the best small businesses for new dads by ... of nine small businesses providing progressive benefits to new parents on the organization’s ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... With over 60 percent of acute stroke survivors being left unable ... aid in the rehabilitation process has steadily increased. Ekso Bionics had been working to ... to stroke. , Ekso Bionics has now received clearance from the U.S. Food and ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... readers, this installment is bolstered by inspiring human-interest stories, courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities ... within the industry, from leading advocates, associations and industry leaders such as Bioness. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa ... body fat composition regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being ... at least every six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and ... stories, which come courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It ... advocates and associations—namely Abilene Christian University. , As the nursing industry is coming ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... MedDay, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment ... "High doses of biotin in progressive multiple sclerosis: extension phase ... Ayman Tourbah , Principal Investigator of the Phase 3 ... Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen, Denmark . The ... on Sunday, 29 May 2016 from 14:45 to 16:15 CEST ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 ... 2016"market research report that provides an overview on ... analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug ... (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, ... reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Cirujanos holandeses han ... a los médicos a compartir sus mejores prácticas por ... mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, Asia ... a la aplicación, que combina la transmisión en vivo ... seguro. Educación   "Imagine un médico ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: