페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

over the outline of this book and given us many valuable suggestions. We are under a special obligation to our colleague, Mr. E. R. Skinner, for particular assistance in the preparation of Chapter VII; to Professor Windsor P. Daggett of New York, and Mr. Joseph Smith of the University of Utah, for reading the proof of this chapter and making very helpful suggestions; to Professor H. L. Ewbank of Albion College, and to our colleague, Professor Robert West, who have read the entire manuscript and have given us most helpful advice in putting the book into its final form.

A. Accidental Social Control. - It is altogether probable that animals and men stumbled upon the discovery of speech, or the possibility of speech, in much the way in which they succeeded in making other adjustments to their environment. Purpose, in anything like the usual sense of the word, perhaps never exists in the behavior of lower animals. However that may be, it is certain that animals and human beings may accidentally accomplish the control of behavior in others without even so much as a consciousness of that fact, to say nothing of an advance purpose or intention in that direction.

B. Materials of Speech as By-products of the Struggle for Adjustment. — In the case of an animal struggling to adjust itself to its environment, many sounds and movements occur, the sight and the hearing of which may control the behavior of other animals. These activities occur in the beginning simply as parts of the total responses which the animal makes, independent of its social environment.

An animal in eating food makes certain sounds which are quite incidental in the process of mastication. These sounds being heard by other animals are associated with eating and soon serve to influence their behavior. Similar results may come from an animal learning sounds made by another of its kind in fighting or in painful or terrorizing situations.

Intercommunication is thus in the half-way stage of development. At this stage each individual's social adjustment is limited; he merely adapts himself to the social environment by learning how to respond to the various stimuli which that environment affords.

C. The Beginnings of Purpose in Speech. - We have seen that the animal in its struggle to adjust itself makes movements and sounds which accidentally control the behavior of others. When the control, thus accidentally brought about, results in the satisfaction of the biological needs of the animal producing the movements and sounds, i.e., when the other animals respond in such a way as to benefit him) his behavior tends to be fixated and emotionally reinforced, so that under similar circumstances it will again be brought into play. When this stage has been reached, the animal has learned to take advantage of the situation and to use his own behavior for purposes

of social control. Whether conscious purpose enters into this or not, we inevitably read purpose into such a situation.

D. Speech as a Solution of Difficulties. — In the situation referred to above, the individual has acquired the power to control others. The difficulties, or the types of unsatisfaction, which the animal has to meet are typically associated with the primary or fundamental emotions, — fear, love, and rage, or with certain unpleasant physiological states, such as hunger and pain. Satisfaction often can be achieved only by controlling the behavior of others. For example, there are two animals in a cage together. One animal is hungry and the other has all the available food. The conduct of the hungry animal is the result of the organic stimuli synonymous with his hunger, which are driving him to get possession of the food. The problem before him is how to get it. Typically, then, this unsatisfaction will result in all kinds of generalized or emotional behavior. There are two relatively distinct courses of action open to him. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there are two possible sets of preparatory responses to his powerful hunger stimuli. The first solution is to take the food away from the animal who has it by attacking him. This method is direct, nonsymbolic, and under certain circumstance the most economical and efficient course which could be pursued. It involves no elements of speech. The second solution is to control the behavior of the animal who has the food in such a way as to get it without the painful necessity of a fight. This is accomplished when the threatening behavior on the part of the animal who wants the food, the gnashing of teeth, the extension of claws, terrifying vocal sounds and the like, cause the individual who has the food to relinquish it without a struggle.

Thus, the individual in his struggle to satisfy his wants hits upon a means of social control which is symbolic and indirect, but much more economical than combat. The animal threatened learns to respond to the threatening behavior with such behavior as will best adjust him to the "speaker.” Instead of waiting to be attacked, he does that which will satisfy his potential attacker. In a sense, he has learned to inter pret the signs, and has thus become amenable to the typical form of indirect control which constitutes speech.

E. Examples of Primitive and Rudimentary Speech Among Animals. — There are many examples of primitive and rudimentary speech among animals. Take, for example, the L mating calls of birds and animals, and the vocal sounds connected with hunger. We say that the hen “calls” the chickens when she finds food available for them. She makes certain clucking sounds to which the chicks respond with such behavior as will lead to satisfaction of their hunger. They always hear

. the hen clucking when they are eating, and the habits involved in eating movements are readily associated with these sound stimuli. The flight responses of herds of animals are called V out by the vocal sounds and the movements of individual members of the herd. It is thus that stampedes are brought about. Dogs and cats are quick to learn the meaning of tones, attitudes, and movements on the part of other dogs r and cats, as well as on the part of human beings. The more susceptible animals are to this type of indirect control, the greater is their educability, or the higher their intelligence. Most of the vertebrates have learned not only to adapt themselves to the social group through reacting to the stimuli which it furnishes, but they have also learned to control others through their own behavior. The anthropoid apes show an extraordinary ability to interpret and respond to the speech of human beings. Their gestures which are well developed are in some cases strikingly like the gestures of human beings, and they have a number of vocal sounds through which one individual controls the behavior of others in specific ways.

8 See R. L. Garner, The Speech of Monkeys.

« 이전계속 »