Dolphins Grasp Human Syntax

Many studies have shown that dolphins can understand human vocabulary and syntax. The problem is that dolphins can't respond in kind, but now biologists are starting to change that.

Biologist Denise Herzing has been studying wild spotted dolphins for years in the Bahamas. Like many people who research dolphins, she's heard the animals communicating with each other but hasn't figured out how to understand what they're saying. And yet dolphins have learned our languages: Many studies have shown that dolphins can understand human vocabulary and syntax. The problem is that dolphins can't respond in kind: They simply aren't able to make the sounds required to speak our languages. So Herzing set out to construct a shared language with dolphins and it worked better than she'd ever hoped.

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