N’KISI THE PARROT-WITH A 950 WORD VOCABULARY
…AND IT’S ORATORY RESPONSES STUN SCIENTISTS
...AND, why NOT put this under the 'CONSCIOUSNESS' Category?/'S'
…And, what does this tale tell us of ‘Language’…among other things…such as ‘Consciousness’? Hmmm. Comments?
By the By:
All images shown…are the courtesy and copyright of Grace Roselli
*CLICK on N’KISI’s Photos:
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The finding of a parrot with an almost unique power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short…to explain it.
The bird…a captive African grey…called N'KISI, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humor.
He will also invent his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope analogous to what a human child would do.
‘THIS Parrot’s remarkable abilities are featured in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.
N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.
About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a wide range of material.
He can ALSO use words in context….I.E. with past, present and future tenses, and is often highly inventive.
One N'kisi-ism was ‘flied" for "flew;, and another ‘pretty smell medicine’…to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner…who happens to be an artist based in New York.
When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: ‘Got a chimp’?
He appears to fancy himself as a humorist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: ‘You got to put this bird on the camera’.
Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an ‘outstanding example of interspecies communication’.
In one experiment…the bird and his owner were put in separate rooms and filmed, as the artist opened random envelopes containing picture cards.
Analysis showed the parrot had used appropriate keywords three times more often than would be likely by chance.
This was despite the researchers discounting responses like ‘What ya doing on the phone’? This was when N'kisi saw a card of a man with a telephone,
‘HE’ also said… ‘Can I give you a hug’?...when he saw a picture with a couple embracing.
Professor Donald Broom…of the University of Cambridge's School of Veterinary Medicine, said: ‘The more we look at the cognitive abilities of animals…the more advanced they appear, and the biggest leap of all has been with parrots’.
Alison Hales, of the World Parrot Trust…told BBC News Online: ‘N'kisi's amazing vocabulary and sense of humor should make everyone who has a pet parrot consider whether they are meeting its needs’.
‘They may not be able to ask directly…but parrots are long-lived, and a bit of research now could mean an improved quality of life for years’.