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Sunday, December 14, 2003

Learnin Selchs for tae Spek Scoats 

Back at the end of November, I blogged about Hoover, the talking seal at the New England Aquarium. Well, it seems Hoover may not turn out to be unique if Dr. W. Tecumseh Fitch has his way.

According to the Guardian: "Fitch, a specialist in language evolution, plans to recruit undergraduates to 'hang out' with young seals in the hope that the seals will pick up human speech patterns."

The research is going on in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews. The goal of the experiment is to try to figure out why seals are able to replicate sounds, including (at least in the case of Hoover) human speech. (Thanks to Language Log, via 日々精進。, for the link.)

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