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April 27, 2006

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The Language of the Birds: Groundbreaking study suggests that songbirds can learn grammar

New research at the University of California at San Diego suggests that 9 out of 11 starlings can learn grammar, which is incredible when you consider all the anecdotal evidence suggesting that less than half of American humans can. Nonetheless, after a month and some 15,000 training sessions, psychology researcher Tim Gentner has accomplished what countless elementary school teachers have not by teaching basic grammar to a bunch of birdbrains. The University could have saved a lot of time and money by simply asking us about the language of birds. We’ve been talking to ducks, geese, and turkeys for years.


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