Vocal Communication

Essay 2: Vocal Communication of Humans and Nonhuman PrimatesThis assignment pertains to learning objectives GELO 1-3 and CLO 3-5Topic: In this essay, you will compare and contrast human language and the vocal communication of nonhuman primates. Specifically, you should analyze how the vocal communication systems of humans and nonhuman primates compare in terms of:(1) production mechanism (anatomy and process);(2) repertoires (types of signals and range of meanings that the signals convey); and(3) underlying cognitive abilities (grammar, referentiality, intentionality, theory of mind, etc.).Questions (1) and (2) should be discussed briefly; your primary focus is question (3), which should take up a majority of both space and emphasis in your essay. One of the key questions in the study of human language considers which aspects of language are uniquely human and which may be considered part of our primate heritage (see Zuberbuhler 2012). This is a difficult question, on which there is no consensus in the scientific community and you will not resolve the issue yourself. Your focus here should be on the cognitive aspects of communication.Regarding question (2), we take it as given that human languages are capable of producing an unlimited variety of utterances and conveying a full range of meanings, intentions, and emotions (cf. Pinker, Ch. 2). As for (3), you can use what you know about your own language use and experiences to explore human cognition and communication. However, do not go into a lengthy discussion of human language; the focus should be on nonhuman primates for these questions.Guidelines: Essays are assessed not only for content, but also for grammar, clarity, conciseness, and coherence. Strive to make your essays accurate, relevant and organized, and use academic English. Your writing should demonstrate an understanding of key scientific terms related to sound and communication, with accurate use of relevant technical terms. You might think of this as writing a short article directed towards an educated layperson, and it should read as a prose essay, not a lab report outlining observations. The purpose is to assess your writing skills in addition to your understanding of the material presented in class.For source material, you may draw on a mix of course lectures, videos, and assigned readings, but to earn full credit, you must include material from (and properly cite) at least two articles from the course readings. You are, of course, welcome to use more than two course readings. No outside sources are required, though you are certainly welcome to draw on other research materials if you like. There is no need to provide citations for material you draw from lectures, unless the material originated from one of the readings or videos. Properly cite both in-text and at the end of the essay these and any other data drawn from course readings and videos. You may use either MLA or APA style citation as long as you are consistent in the citation format. If you do use additional sources, be sure to cite them as well. As with any academic writing, the ideas you present in your paper if they are from a specific source (other than ideas you came up with yourself) you must cite them both in-text (within the body of your paper) and at the end of the essay in a reference list.Formatting and SubmissionProvide your own original, descriptive title for your essay. (Do not simply copy and paste “Vocal Communication of Humans and Nonhuman Primates”).Your essay must be a minimum of 1200 words long, but no longer than 1500 words. Include the word count in your document.Document formatting should use a 12-point font, double-spaced, have 1-inch margins on all sides, and be saved in either doc/.docx or .pdf format only.Documents in shared drives will not be accepted.Your document should include your last name, first name, course name and section at the top of the document.The essay must be uploaded to Turnitin via Canvas before the due date/time. The essay will be considered late if it is not submitted before the deadline.I will grade your paper according to the following rubric:Ideas and Content (50%): The degree to which your paper demonstrates insightful theses supported byrelevant, accurate, and specific evidence from appropriate sources.Organization (30%): The degree to which your paper follows a clear and logical train of thought. Your paragraphs should demonstrate cohesion and aim to gradually introduce points of comparison between anurans and passerines.Form (20%): The degree to which you use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, citation and formatting.

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