Language in parrots and babies

Uncovering the mysteries of language using parrots and babies

Prosidy: A linguist’s term for “the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech … reflecting the emotional state of the speaker; the form of the utterance (statement, question, or command); the presence of irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus; or other elements of language that may not be encoded by grammar or choice of vocabulary.”  In other words, it’s gibberish that sounds exactly like conversation, but doesn’t actually contain words.

Many parrots who are just learning to talk, and some who are already skilled conversationalists, demonstrate prosidy.  We hear it in small children, as well.  Does this offer a hint as to how parrots learn? Is it similar to the way a human child learns, first imitating, then learning meanings and refining their speech skills?  My guess would be yes, but it’s just that – a guess.

Have a look at this article, and the links within it. Interesting stuff!

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