Human-animal communication: A transdisciplinary object by nature?

Lecturers: Chloé Mondémé
Human-animal interspecies communication poses interesting challenges to the existing disciplinary fields: not addressed by linguistic theories which generally focus on human articulated verbal language (and on its structures) nor fully graspable by ethology or behavioral ecology, which generally focus on functional relationships (e.g prey/predator, host/parasite), this objects lacks a relevant methodology. Yet it is ubiquitous and widespread, if we just think of the prevalence of companion animals in households and the amount of ordinary interactions it engenders. After briefly exposing the shortcomings of the previous attempts to describe and understand interspecies communication in primatology and comparative psychology, the presentation will argue for the relevance of a linguistics-inspired framework, attentive to the emergent, dynamic and adjusted character of communicational practices - regarded primarily as social practices.