Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e29689. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029689. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Two-item sentence comprehension by a dog (Canis familiaris).

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Clinics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. daniela.ramos@usp.br

Abstract

Syntax use by non-human animals remains a controversial issue. We present here evidence that a dog may respond to verbal requests composed of two independent terms, one referring to an object and the other to an action to be performed relative to the object. A female mongrel dog, Sofia, was initially trained to respond to action (point and fetch) and object (ball, key, stick, bottle and bear) terms which were then presented as simultaneous, combinatorial requests (e.g. ball fetch, stick point). Sofia successfully responded to object-action requests presented as single sentences, and was able to flexibly generalize her performance across different contexts. These results provide empirical evidence that dogs are able to extract the information contained in complex messages and to integrate it in directed performance, an ability which is shared with other linguistically trained animals and may represent a forerunner of syntactic functioning.

PMID:
22312419
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3270009
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk