Did Alex have language?

Místo konání: CTS, Husova 4, Praha 1, 3. patro
Přednáší: Jeniffer Hudin
This paper argues that the utterances made by the renowned talking parrot, Alex, were not only meaningful and sincere, they counted as a language. Three arguments are considered in favor of this claim: 1) Alex demonstrated the capacity for recursion, 2) Alex satisfied the Davidsonian requirements for a talking entity to have language, and 3) Alex satisfied the Searlean requirements for making speech acts. The paper concludes that the pieces of human language that Alex most readily acquired and those pieces that he lacked might point out a kind of evolutionary path by which our ancestors acquired the language that we now speak.