New Language Discovered: Prairiedogese

Reposted from NPR’s Morning Edition by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich

If you learn a second language, there’s usually a moment where things click — you overhear some snippet of conversation and suddenly, you just get it, effortlessly.  Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University has spent the past 30 years studying a foreign tongue. But there are no instructional podcasts or evening classes to help him: Slobodchikoff is trying to learn prairie dog.

View interactive media demonstrating some of the discoveries Dr. Slobodchikoff has made and listen to the 7 minute NPR Story at the following link.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/132650631/new-language-discovered-prairiedogese

for those of you with access to prairie dogs colonies, it could be quite interesting to attempt to replicate Dr. Slobodchikoff’s.

Additional Links of Potential Interest

  • Video Clip on Dr. Slobodchikoff’s work from the BCC Program Prairie Dogs Talk of the Town
  • BBC Video Clip on Coyote Predation  Prairie Dogs

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Author: Eric Kessler

I am a high school biology teacher at Blue Valley North High School where I have taught freshman Biology and Honors Biology, Field Biology, Zoology, and AP Biology for the past 15 years. I am sponsor of the Environmental Club and our molecular modeling S.M.A.R.T. Team program. I am also the current treasurer of the Kansas Herpetological Society. Although I like most things biological, I have specific interests in the natural history of KS endemics (the outdoors) and things molecular. I am a pretty avid reader, I enjoy maintaining my website, and taking photographs. I plan on having students blogging and creating podcasts by the end of the year.