Approaches to Animal Communication

Bateson, Gregory 1969. Metalogue: What is an instinct? In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 11-30.

Daughter: Daddy, what is an instinct?
Father: An instinct, my dear, is an explanatory principle.
Daughter: But what does it explain?
Father: Anything - almost anything at all. Anything you want it to explain.
Daughter: Don't be silly. It doesn't explain gravity.
Father: No. But that is because nobody wants 'instinct' to explain gravity. If they did, it would explain it. We could simply say that the moon has an instinct whose strength varies inversely as the square of the distance...
Daughter: But that's nonsense, Daddy.
Father: Yes, surely. But it was you who mentioned 'instinct', not I.
Daughter: All right - but then what does explain gravity?
Father: Nothing, my dear, because gravity is an explanatory principle.
Daughter: Oh.
(Bateson 1969: 11)
See the discussion of instinct vs faculty.
Daughter: Daddy, is an explanatory principle the same thing as an [sic] hypothesis?
Father: nearly, but not quite. You see, an hypothesis tries to explain some particular something but an explanatory principle - like 'gravity' or 'instinct' - really explains nothing. It's a sort of conventional agreement between scinetists to stop trying to explain things at a certain point.
(Bateson 1969: 12)
The same could be said about 'semiosis' in relation with the "intellectual licence" that semioticians invoke.
Daughter: Daddy, what's a black box?
Father: A 'black box' is a conventional agreement between scientists to stop trying to explain things at a certain point. I guess it's usually a temporary agreement.
Daughter: But that doesn't sound like a black box.
Father: No - but that's what it's called. Things often don't sound like their names.
Daughter: No.
Father: It's a word that comes from the engineers. When they draw a diagram of a complicated machine, they use a sort of shorthand. Instead of drawing all the details, they put a box to stand for a whole bunch of parts and label the box with what that bunch of parts is supposed to DO.
Daughter: So a 'black box' is a label for what a bunch of things are supposed to do...
Father: That's right. But it's not an explanation of HOW the bunch works.
Daughter: And gravity?
Father: Is a label for what gravity is supposed to do. It's not an explanation of how it does it.
(Bateson 1969: 12-13)
In this sense body language is nothing but a black box. It's a label that stands for what nonverbal communication does. A poor and misleading label, at that.
Daughter: What did you mean by 'partly control'?
Father: Well. If an animal falls down a cliff, its falling is controlled by gravity. But if it wiggles while falling, that might be due to instinct.
Daughter: Self-preservative instinct?
Father: I suppose so.
Daughter: What is a self, daddy? Does a dog know it has a self?
Father: I don't know. But if the dog does know it has a self, and it wiggles in order to preserve the self, then its wiggling is RATIONAL, not instinctive.
Daughter: Oh. Thes a 'self-preservative instinct' is a contradiction.
Father: Well, it's a sort of halfway house on the road to antropomorphism.
Daughter: Oh. That's bad.
Father: But the dog might KNOW it had a self and not know that that self should be preserved. It would then be rational to NOT wiggle. So if a dog still wiggles, this would be instinctive. But if it LEARNED to wiggle, then it would not be instinctive.
Daughter: Oh.
(Bateson 1969: 13-14)
Instinct is opposed to learning (which is rational). Faculty, on the other hand, seems like a disposition for learning, or something like that.
Daughter: All right. Let's take the 'not' first. Is there any 'not' in animal behavior?
Father: How could there be?
Daughter: I mean can an animal say by its actions, "I will not bite you"?
Father: Well, to begin with. Communication by actions cannot possibly have tenses. They are only possible in language.
Daughter: didn't you say that dreams have no tenses?
Father: Hm. Yes, I did.
Daughter: OK. But what about 'not'. Can the animal say, "I am not biting you".
Father: That still has a tense in it. But never mind. If the animal IS not biting the other, he's not biting it, and that's it.
Daughter: But he might not be doing all sorts of other things, sleeping, eating, running, and so on. How can he say, "It's biting that I'm not doing"?
Father: He can only do that if biting has somehow been mentioned.
Daughter: Do you mean that he could say, "I am not biting you" by first showing his fangs and THEN not biting.
Father: Yes. Something like that.
Daughter: But what about TWO animals? They'd both have to show their fangs.
Father: Yes.
Daughter: And it seems to me, they might misunderstand each other, and get into a fight.
Father: Yes. There is always that danger when you deal in opposites and do not or cannot say what you are doing, especially when you do not KNOW what you are doing.
Daughter: But the animals would know that they bared their fangs in order to say, "I won't bite you".
Father: I doubt whether they would know. Certainly neither animal knows it obut the other. The dreamer doesn't know at the beginning of the dream how the dream is going to end.
Daughter: Thes it's a sort of experiment...
Father: Yes.
Daughter: So they might get into a fight in order to find out whether fighting was what they had to do.
Father: Yes - but I'd rather put it less purposively - that the fight shows them what lort of relationship they have, after it. It's not planned.
(Bateson 1969: 77)
Very relevant for discussion of instrumentality, intrinsic coding, and self-referentiality in nonverbal behavior.
Daughter: But, Daddy, you still haven't answered the question about how dreams are put together.
Father: I think I have answered it. But let me try again. A dream is a metaphor or a tangle of metaphors. Do you know what a metaphor is?
Daughter: Yes. If you say you are LIKE a pig that is a simile. But if I say you ARE a pig, that is a metaphor.
Father: Approximately, yes. When a metaphor is LABELED as a metaphor it be comes a simile.
Daughter: And it's that labeling that a dream leaves out.
Father: That's right. A metaphor compares things without spelling out the comparison. It takes what is true of one group of things and applies it to another. When we say a nation 'decays', we are using a metaphor, suggesting that some changes in a nation are like changes which bacteria produce in fruit. But we wouldn't stop to mention the fruit or the bacteria.
Daughter: A dream is like that?
Father: No. It's the other way round. The dream would mention the fruit and possibly the bacteria but would not mention the nation. The dream elaborates on the RELATIONSHIP but does not identify the things that are related.
(Bateson 1969: 29)
Very good. If the signification of metaphors is formulated, it becomes a simile.

Busnel, Marie-Claire 1969. The Psychophysiological Study of Acoustic Communication in Animals. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 31-39.

When a psychologist studies man, the above picture is quite complete. Each term of the diagram is known to the investigator; emitte rand receiver belong to the same species and share a common code. Thus, decoding is easy, whether it is a spoken language or the silent language composed of postural attitude, facial expression, smell, and tactile stimulation. Even if the code is not common, there is still a basic comprehension between members of the same species, and the language may be learned, translated, and integrated. (Busnel 1969: 32)
There is an innate understanding.
The first, THE STIMULUS, has been rather well-defined, on the whole, by previous experiments, although types of stimulation may exist which do not seem significant to us, and there may be certain elements of animal behavior which respond to still unknown stimuli. (Busnel 1969: 33)
This is a common presumption in nonverbal communication discourse, and it is presumed that rational consideration of channels and modalities and categories and specific gestures will reduce the unknown into the known. Yet we cannot be sure that this is so, and that we're not just building cardboard castles to hide the sight of something we are actually unable to consider rationally. Sounds mystical, but so did expression until it was reduced to muscular actions of the face.
The MOTOR ACT, which is the end result of stimulation, at the same time, may be a stimulus for another member of the communication system, that is, the receiver. In this case, a closed circuit can be achieved with impulses traveling either clockwise or counter-clockwise, each individual alternating in the roles of adressor and adressee until one of them ceases to react and thus breaks off communication (unless a third participant enters the system in which case all interactions have to be studied again). (Busnel 1969: 34)
Interaction systems last only for as long as there occurs interaction.
It may well be that animals, like humans, have reactions that are not readily observable. Even without talking of purely intellectual thought, emotions below a certain treshold may not be visible in the behavior or general appearance of the animal; for instance, the heartbeats of a fish are measured, and it is found that the emission of a certain tpye of sound is accompanied by an acceleration in heart rate - a reaction not immediately observable. Thus a knowledge of the behavioral significance of the signs exchanged is necessary for the understanding of a communication system, but it is not sufficient. (Busnel 1969: 35)
One of the pitfalls of nonverbal behavior approach is that it accounts only for the obvervable "body motion", but human behavior in total includes much more.

Carpenter, C. R. 1969. Approaches to Studies of the Naturalistic Communicative Behavior in Nonhuman Primates. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 40-70.

There are distinctions betwees SOCIAL and COMMUNICATIVE behavior. A strong case can be made, however, for treating all social behavior as communicative behavior. What are some useful comparisons and distinctions? Social behavior (SB) is more general; comunicative behavior (CB) is more specific and limited; SB can occur without CB, but CB always has elements and components of SB; generally, CB is more economic of energy or effort than SB; CB may substitute for or replace some kinds of SB.
These distinctions between social and communicative behavior are exemplified by interactions of females and their infants which include signaling networks of contacts, expressive movements, gestures, and calls. Although nursing, keeping the infant warm, grooming, and restricting its exploratory movements have threads of communicative elements; these kinds of behavior are more social than communicative in quality and effect. There is the simulation and arousal, and expressive acts all reflect and signal organic states during copulation. There are essential communicative elements and functions, but patterns of copulation have additional components and characteristics which cannot be classed only as communications. (Carpenter 1969: 43-44)
I suspect that the distinction between social and communicative behaviour here is hinging on the classical information theory example of whistle bell that announces the lunch break. That is, if instead the whistle it was someone's task to yell and wave hands to signal sunch, then this would be communicative behavior, but it releases the masses of workers to start walking towards the diner, which is social behaviour. The copulation example is especially vivid. I discussed something like this with a friend earlier this year: she claimed that sex is primarily a communicative act, that it is about information. I tried to explain that looking into each others eyes and touching each other with the intention to induce pleasure is communicative, but the mechanics of sex have very little to do with communication.
SIGNS and SIGNALS of whatever form, function, and medium probably should be conceived as active process and as verbs, i.e. SIGNING and SIGNALING. However, signs such as color changes of the face of the female primate in estrus or the psoition of the tail of the dominant ALPHA rhesus male of a group illustrate the fact that signs may indicate physiological states and involve structures. Signaling is always active behavior such as a posture, a call, a limited movement, and a specific gesture. Signs are more regular, stereotyped, ritualized, and limited than signaling; signaling is more plastic and varied than signs. Signaling is more DIRECTED, oriented or focused, usually toward other animals. Signing and signaling as well as other expressive behavior may occur together and either summate or interfere with the effectiveness of the total configuration or field of communicative events. (Carpenter 1969: 45)
This is actually the signal/symbol distinction (or index/symbol?). "Regular" can here be read as "conventional"; and "oriented" as "indicative".
Descriptions of examples of communicative behavior of howlers were reported under the main heading of "Group Coordination and Control" (Carpenter, 1964). Thus, it was assumed that COORDINATION and CONTROL of individuals in groups were mediated by signaling behavior. The treatment of this subject, even in 1934, included the necessity of describing the 'environmental matrix' of the 'stimulus flux' within which specific patterns of movements or vocalizations occurred. It was observed then that individuals of different ages and classes not only produced distinctively different patterns of signaling behavior but also that they responded differently to the same patterns. Thus, SELECTIVITY of all responses was observed and reported. (Carpenter 1969: 46)
In the first instance there's a hint towards the relationship of behaviour and power; and in the second instance an age dimension in semiotic behaviour (in terms of selectivity). Is it possible that the "environmental matrix of the stimulus flux" is the scheme or table that is presented in the next article and constitutes basically a distinction between Umwelt, Innenwelt and Lebenswelt?
Another possible developmental sequence in young howlers is the emergence of the signaling qualities of behavior from actual contact and manipulating actions. After a period of repeated control of the infant through forceful handling of the mother, it was observed that limited preparatory or anticipatory movements of the mother would signal to the infant the action that was to follow. This sequence of behavior was described on a continuum in space ranging from actual contact behavior through intermediately remote, visually perceived, postural and gestural behavior to the loud ddistant vocalization of howlers which are so characteristic of this specific platyrrhine. (Carpenter 1969: 46)
On page 53 this "cue reduction and fixation" is called, after Hollingsworth, redente gration. Curiously enough, soon after reading this (I have met similar discussions with other animals elsewhere), I experienced it firshand with humans. I was walking home and a woman with a young child were coming my way. The woman was talking with the phone and the child was holding a white flower and playing with it, I guess. I stepped right to make way for them, but the child didn't notice this (the sun was glaring in their direction) and was about to walk into me. The mother noticed this and interrupted the phone call for a second to command her child: "Kõnni!" ("Walk!"). She didn't say "Watch where you are walking!" or "Walk closer to me!" but just this one word. And it did the trick - the child stepped closer to his mother. It might be worthwhile to note that the mother's tone was not angry but "elative" (?) I don't have a correct term for this, but her inflection was that of lullabies. My impression was that the woman used this single word to as-if remind her son to pay attention to walking; it was almost a reminder that "you are walking now, do it right" (e.g. don't walk into another person).
A 'species-specific' type of gesture was described: Sexually activated males and females exhibit and exchange rhythmic tongue and lip movements. These occur in sequences and cicles of exchanges usually prior to, but sometimes during and following copulation. This stereotyped series of gestures operates to establish a high degree of coordination between two animals and usually is preparatory for copulation. (Carpenter 1969: 47)
This may be "biological functionalism" talking again, but could it be that the function of kissing in humans is similar to these movements in nonhuman primates? It is also curious word-selection that males and females are sexually activ-ated. In the movie Juno there was even a facial expression ascribed to this activation...
Like other primates, the spider monkeys have specialized vocalizations for intimate WITHIN GROUP COMMUNICATION and other patterns for distant communications. Special gestures, facial expressions, and sounds serve communicative functions within close clusters of animals. (Carpenter 1969: 52)
The same seems to apply to humans. That is, this may be related to so-called personal communication systems (which are related to autocommunication or intimate communication). Also, "manners" are sometimes explained as devices to keep people distant (e.g. Joos's frozen style), while familiar communication style draws people together and creates an intimate atmosphere.
The development of signaling from manipulation and contact control, for example, was found in gibbons. The following quotation describes the conceptualization of this development:
Gradually the mother's components of these interactive responses with the baby are reduced. Actual grasping and carrying of the infant toward her is replaced by a simpler method. When the mother is ready to move, she merely looks for the infant, assumes a suitable posture for receiving it and then the infant comes and climbs to its position. Later the stance of the mother, a quick look in the direction of the infant or a limited movement of the hand is sufficient. In time, the control (of the infant) by the mother may be affected through patterns of sound, signaling and anticipated movements - the process of cue reduction and fixation is perhaps what Hollingsworth has called learning by more symbolic control (Carpenter, 1964: 245).
The process of maturation of the infant should have been descrubed also as a part of this behavioral transformation. (Carpenter 1969: 53)
I imagine "contact control" to designate, inter alia, stereotypical tropes of flirtation - e.g. when a man shows a woman how to perform the golf swing, but instead of demonstrating the movement, presses himself against the woman and controls her with physical contact. The cue reduction and fixation aspect seems to be related with habit formation and automatization. In this sense the flirtation described is a case of "making space for acting childish" (as some sociobiologists contend that love relationships create a space in which to act childishly) and deautomatizing something that should be quite automatic.
I have the impression from comparative studies of howlers, rhesus, and spider monkeys, of gibbons and gorillas, that the repertoire of signaling consisting of fine movements, facial expressions, and gestures increases in complexity and richness from the howler to the gorilla. There are increases also in the kinds of information signaled or transmitted bythese fine movements and facial expressions. In many primates, for example, in the gorillas and chimpanzees, eye movements have important signal values, and these can be used to predict the next step in probably behavioral sequences. (Carpenter 1969: 54)
I have the impression that the human repertoire of nonverbal behavior is the finest and carries the highest amount of information in the animal kingdom, despite (and/or because) of language.
Communication processes and overt signaling can be viewed as REGULATORS of BEHAVIOR. Sounds may first direct the attention of associated animals from the signals to the animal producing them and to the REFERENT of the gestural and vocal signals. Thus, signals affect the direction and extent of the exploratory behavior and perceptual scanning of the sensory fields of the responding animals. Signaling can arouse and stimulate animals for very specific kinds of behavior such as defence, play or other CUED activities which are being initiated or are already in progress. As we described for the vocal behavior of howlers, signals from specific animals can begin, initiate, and inhibit activities of many other animals. Therefore, the characteristics of FACILITATION and INHIBITION are added to those already listed. (Carpenter 1969: 61)
This is extremely valuable, because it points out the error Ekman and Friesen might have made. They abandoned their "regulator" category of coding soon after interpellating it (although others, my supervisor Silvi Tenjes among them) did develop it further. Here it seems that any and all behaviors can serve a regulative function. It is also significant, that Ekman and Friesen's regulators were primarily inhibitory - they as-if excluded facilitative regulators (e.g. the "go on, continue" gestures). Though I may very well be mistaken here.
The threat-defensive actions of peripheral males appear to have little effect, even though they are repeated loudly and almost continually. Surely the STATUS of the signaler is important in determining the SIGNAL VALUE or strength of communicative behavior. (Carpenter 1969: 62)
There is a good example in the novels I'm studying. In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: when Montag asks Mildred to turn down the salong sound, she only pretends to do so; but when the firemen commander asks her to do the same, she does it right away.
Animal signaling involves both PERCEPTUAL SELECTIVITY and RESPONSE SELECTIVITY. For the field observer it is important to learn what movements or objects stimulate flight and what ones the wild primates will accept and tolerate without being disturbed. The further question arises about the effects of different signaling distances. There are many critical and selective distances which relate to perceptual-response selectors and regulators of animal behavior - most specifically of the communicative signaling systems. Distances of calling, reception and responses to remote signaling retale to THRESHOLD VALUES of the stimulation, its strength and biotic-ocial significance. Briefly stated, the same call given at different distances produces different responses and may serve different functions. (Carpenter 1969: 63)
A significant elaboration of the "sensory gating" or simply selectivity phenomenon.

Count, Earl W. 1969. Animal Communication in Man-Science: An Essay in Perspective. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 71-130.

To be an animal is to communicate; it is a property of being an animal. Humans are animals. They communicate. How far do the features of animal communication apply to them? What is the humanness of their communications? Man's phyletic ancestry having been nonhuman, how did a human communication develop from a nonhuman one? (Count 1969: 71)
This is the most I could ever imagine myself using linear logic. From what I've learned from previous articles in this collection, some features apply to human communication significantly.
The term 'speech' is employed herin informally, as it is in the vernacular. 'Language' is used if it has been used by others whose material is under discussion. Other neologisms occurring in this essay: SYMPOLOPOESIS, the neuropsychological activity which produces symbols. SYMBOLOPOEA, a product of this process. The term is used when it is underirable to attach it to a neurological connotation. ALLOPRIMATES, any primates other than man. (Count 1969: 71)
"Body language" is a term only in vernacular and non-scientific non-fiction (does that make sense? I mean something like Horwood 2007). Symbolopoesis seems like a useful neologism.
Linguistics is the most fully developed of the social-anthropological sciences. Operating within the closed-system of Homo sapiens behavior, it has developed the heuristic schema of phoneme-morpheme-syntax which gives logical structure to the empirical findings from all human speech codes. This indeed suggests something about the mentation of Homo sapiens. At the same time it corresponds neither to the ontogenesis, nor to the pathologic disintegration of speech, and it suggests nothing to speculation about the phylogenesis of speech. (Count 1969: 72)
Is that a neologism as well? I don't recall such a term.
...behavioral segments such as the ethologists identify which may be no more than analogous, or again may have their rationale in some homology (Sebeok, 1962). (Count 1969: 73)
Here I'm thinking that the difference between homology and isology is that the former operates on "similarity" but the latter on "sameness". The Sebeok reference is to Coding in the Evolution of Signalling Behavior.
We shall term any reciprocation, mutually complementing behavior a dialogue. The ritual which follows the meeting of the male and the female fits the term; what precedes it was a prodromon. A dialogue always is asymmetric; in the present case, the prodromon is extremely so. (Count 1969: 75)
A neat nonverbal definition of dialogue. One can only complain that this also suits the as a definition of communication (e.g. to reciprocate).
The spelling [of semeiotics] is better etymology than semiotics, and it avoids the ambiguity of semi-. Semi-otics would be nonsense. "Semeiotica", moreover, is the original spelling. See Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. (Count 1969: 76f)
True, but "semiotics" is still the convention.
If I can read lips, and also can hear you, the movement of your lips is a disturbance to me, a 'noise'. I must compel myself not to watch your lips. If, however, you are almost or totally inaudible, then commensurately your lip movements convey to me the information via a supplementary modality, as the primary modality loses information value to me. (Occasional selectivity is a known property even among invertebrates.) If you and I are both watching a third person, what to me is noise may be information to you. (Count 1969: 77)
The sad truth is that nonverbal behaviour is 'noise' in most communication situations. This is why it was first studied by anthropologists, who in another culture space or speech community could not rely on the verbal signs.
But HOW an organism exploits its environment is a problem in MEANING and a functional description of its own organization. Adaption has quite another definition under an information ecology, from that under an energetics-ecology. Sociality and communication promise more under the former than under the latter.
We can also look at the ecology of a vertebrate organism in terms of the following three environments:
(1) The organism queries information from its physical surroundings by means of its sensory receptors. (Cf. situational categories 2, 3, 4).
(2) The organism has an internal environment, (a self-environment), mediated informationally by traffic of the autonomic system with the brainstem (particularly, the hypothalamus).
(3) The organism's conspecific fellows constitute its social environment. (Cf. situational categories 5.6.7). Since these are obviously located in the same spatial-temporal ambience as itself, necessarily it uses the same sensory medalities as in 1 to cope with this environment. Yet clearly, environment 3 is distinct from environment 1. In 3, there is a shared code, with feedback in both moieties.
In ontogenesis, the organism faces the problem of organizing a space-time from the three environments concurrently; and thereby it achieves an I/not I orientation. (Count 1969: 78)
It's not difficult to recognize in this scheme: (a) Umwelt, Innenwelt and Lebenswelt; and (b) proprio-, intero-, and extero- functions.
But the students of the organism are of two kinds - the students of behavior and the students of the organism, proprement dit. Both the behaviorists and the informationalists (if the suffering reader will indulge these opportunistic labels) treat the machine as a black box - though for different reasons. The students of organism in the narrower sense are busy prying into the black box. In this essay, they are the neurologists of whatever specialty. (Count 1969: 79)
I wonder if this distinction accords with the distinction between American behaviorists and European zoologists.
But if we are to consider animal communication a valid topic of discourse, we shall not pass far beyond the merely descriptive stage until we have come to terms with the non-identties of 'analogy' and 'homology'.
This must be spelled out before we proceed farther. The electrophysiologiy of insects and vertebrate neurons operates on the same principles. The significance of reverting to circuits to problems of memory and learning has transfer-value from the one animal organization to the other. But their respective exploitation of projection and of interconnection design in their arrangements of nervous mechanisms differ. Both an ommatidial eye and a lens-and-retina eye analyze photic frequencies, but the insect eye cannot tell the insect brain what the vertebrate eye tells the vertebrate brain. No more, presumably, would either brain know what to do with the information coming from the eye of the other. Where do the respective semantic loads begin? What, moreover, in neurophysiological terms, ARE the respective semantic loads? Neuron transmission is an activity of relative potential changes in potassium and sodium ions; what is the microphysiology of semeion?
But the problem changes some of its character when we are confronted with the hunting- or the fleeing-behaviors of shark, hawk, lion, and human. Here, the fundamental cytoarchitectonics have recognizable similarities which are accountable only on the basis of phylogeny. Neither logical inference nor such empirical results as are available from histology, electrostimulation, neuropharmacology, would support the notion that from the shark to man the information processings have radically altered within homologous structurings. - This has no meaning when the comparison is between insect and vertebrate - nonetheless, a hawk possesses a basal ganglion elaborated out of and befond the anlagen which obtained in the reptilian ancestry of birds; a cat possesses a limbic lobe and a neocortex elaborated out of some other parts of the brain of its infra-mammalian ancestry. Each of these two elaborations performs its respective analyses; however, these do not supplant those of more primitive levels which persist within the total brain. They but carry the analyses into further refinements. In the vertebrate brain, the several evolutionary levels compound their information-processings and organize their behavior. It is simply erroneous, and careless science, to speak of a 'higher level' as having somehow usurped the control function of a 'lower level' - as for example is done when it is indicated that the lateral geniculate nuclei do the final processing in the frog's brain, while in mammals the final processing 'has been taken over' by the striate area of the neocortek. The mammalian lateral geniculate nuclei are quite as active in the total performance as in any frog. It is very important for the comprehension of even the most abstruse of human intellectual process that cytoarchitectonically the hippocampus of man is very comparable to that of a mouse, and continues to perform accordingly. It is a principle within the theory of systems that an identical 'result' may be arrived at via an indeterminable number of different processings. This is 'equifinality' (Bertalanffy, 1950). Therefore, as we note the alarm calls of a bird and of a monkey, they may be indeed comparable as BEHAVIORAL EQUIFINALITY; but FUNCTIONALLY they are messages with only a partial comparability. (Count 1969: 80-81)
And where does "isology" fit in?
To informationalists and behaviorists, communication is an output-input channel with a black box at each end. To functionalist it is an organism-as-system in the center with an input on one side and an output on the other. The focus is the black box. This characterizes the attitude of the present essay. The key orientation becomes the continuum of perception-cognition. (Count 1969: 82)
I believe one day I'll make sense of this difference.
The focal study of an information-ecology is that of a teleologic machine seeking information and which thereby adapts - of which study, the macula (so to say) is, by what mechanisms and computations the organism copes with information. The following postulates are submitted toward an information-ecology (the list is not exhaustive):
  1. Brain mechanism represents an exceedingly complex probabilistic system (Beer, 1959, 1960).
  2. The system is but a subsystem of organism-as-system. Organism-as-system, in turn, is a subsystem or moiety of the coupling, organism-environment.
  3. Three environments have a reality (external, internal and social, as described earlier), yet the organism interrelates them. How it does so, is subsumable under the analysis of space-time. An information ecology begins here.
  4. Organisms quest for information; paraphrased, they exert effort after meaning. Matters of 'learning' begin here (Wiener, 1954: 38).
  5. The organism does not merely quest to extinguish tension; it also accepts tension as a positive experience (Goldstein, 1947: 222, 223).
  6. Information may be said to 'ride' energy. Sema 'rides' information. Organismal messages are honest.
  7. The physical environment does not communicate. This is a corollary of a converse of 4.
  8. 'Behavior' constitutes the presenting symptoms of neurophysiological processes.
  9. Whatever be true of the animal kingdom in general, vertebrates seek information via several modalities which connect with physical and chemical properties of the universe, respectively and severally. Problems of configuration, cue redundancy, space-time analysis begin here.
  10. Behavioral and functional approcahes are mutually incongruent. This insures that neither is adequate for dealing with the complete phenomenon of animal communication. The key problem and strategy for a science of animal communication is how the one phenomenon is produced by the other.
(Count 1969: 82-83)
Very useful. Especially the "quest for meaning" and the neurophysiological definition of behaviour.
Physical surroundings
Organism's internality
Social surroundings
E: Energetics
I: Information
The matrix embraces the entire phenomenon of organism-related-to-environment. Any cell actually is or may be the frame of a discipline; e.g., what is normally understood as the discipline of ecology is placed in EA; that of physiology, in EB; psychology in IA and IC. (For the significance of IB, see Maslow, 1966). To pursue an analogy - the cells resemble a morphemics of a metalanguage concerning organism - environment (Merkwelt/Wirkwelt); but their syntax extends vertically, horizontally ,diagonally, as joints of the cells. (Count 1969: 83)
Actually makes a lot of sense. My own table, "Types of Concourse", is not much different from this, arthough the subject matter is different.
"As P. W. Bridgman pointed out some years ago, if nature appears to be mathematical, it may be due to our insistance upon asking questions that we can and will answer only in mathematical terms" (Frank, 1948: 190).
"To Sir James Jeans's contention that the physical universe is constructed on mathematical lines, an equally competent mathematical physicist, Sir Arthur Eddington, replies, 'The mathematics is not there till we put it there'" (Herrick, 1956: 30). (Count 1969: 84)
In a similar manner, we semioticians see life as coextensional with semiosis, because we put semiosis there.
In a remarkable paper, John Dewey (1896) set forth the inadequacies of a stimulus-response psychology; and in an equally remarkable little book, F. A. Hayek (1952) demonstrates that sensory perception already is interpretation. This is now substantiated by neurophysiological experiments; e.g., electrode recordings form the organ of Corti of the cat show that this structure gates the inputs after conditioning or learning; habituation begins at the periphery. The most penetrating analysis of this subject known to me is Lettvin, Maturana, McCulloch, Pitts: "What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain" (1959). (see also the discussion in the First Conference on Brain and Behavior; particularly, pp. 396, 402, 404. There is corroboration from the direction of ethology - admirably summarized by Marler and Barlow - see their contributions in Thrope and Zangwill, 1961. A superb summary of our subject will be found in McCulloch, 1948: 265-267.) (Count 1969: 89)
Hayek's 1952 bears the title The Sensory Order. It seems contrary to Austin's example, namely, that when we see cheese in front of our noses, we do see signs of cheese. Then again this is not a simple topic.
Structurally, the thalamus is very complex; none of it is indispensable. By contrast, the matter of the cerebral hemispheres is remarkably homogeneous; a surprising amount of it is dispensable. (Count 1969: 91)
"If the brain has swelled outside the cranial cavity and will no longer fit, simply snip away part of the frontal or temporal lobe with nail clippers and discard. This will not affect your child's development." (Pendlehill 1971: 10)
Ih seems a valid statement that, while the hypothalamus, with its visceral connections, is much responsible for body tonus; it is the cortices of the limbic system which make psosible those feelings or awarenesses which we call 'emotion'. (Count 1969: 93)
Well try to remember.
We are not as yet dealing with how limbic system and neocortex interrelate. The hippocampus seems to be fit for
the role of a universal analyzer of non-specific stimuli-signals of all those events which are predictable from long phyletic experience: signals of water, food, air to breathe, space to live it, of mate in season, of days and nights, of seasons and tides. Without such a universal analyzer of 'broadcast' signals of universal and perennial events, the differentiation of conditioned responses to messages with specific addresses - visual, acoustic, somaesthetic, cenesthetic - signaling events predictable only from a short-term ontogenetic experience would not be possible. (Yakovlev, 1958: 403)
(Count 1969: 93)
"Coenesthesia" [cenesthetic] is "general awareness of one's own body". "Somatosensory" [somaesthetic] on the other hand is "relating to or denoting a sensation (such as pressure, pain, or warmth) that can occur anywhere in the body, in contrast to one localized at a sense organ (such as sight, balance, or taste)." It seems that one is general and the other is specific.
The cortex of the hippocampal formation has a similar achitecture throughout the entire length and presents the same general picture in all mammals from mouse to man. On the basis of these observations one might infer that the hippocampal system could hardly dear with information in more than a crude way, and was possibly too primitive a brain to analize language. Yet it might have the capacity to participate in a non-verbal type of symbolism. This would have significant implications as far as symbolism affects the emotional life of the individual. One might imagine, for example, that though the visceral brain could never aspire to conceive the color red in terms of a three-lettel word or as a specific wave-length of light, it could associate the colour symbolically with such diverse things as blood, fainting, fighting, flowers, etc. (MacLean, 1949: 348)
(Count 1969: 95)
Someone tell Saussure!
Considered in the light of Freudian psychology, the visceral brain would have many of the attributes of the unconscious id. One might argue, however, that the visceral brain is not at all unconscious (possibly not even in certain states of sleep), but rather eludes the grasp of the intellect because its animalistic and primitive structure makes it impossible to communicate in verbal terms. Perhaps it were more proper to say, therefore, it is an animalistic and illiterate brain. (MacLean, 1949: 348)
(Count 1969: 95)
Seems sensible. from "Psychosomatic Disease and the 'Visceral Brain'" in Psychosomatic Medicine 11: 338-353.
Feelings and emotions provide us with the connecting bridge between our internal and external world. In other words, it is such experience that assumes us of the reality of ourselves and the environment around us... . There are clinical and experimental indications that without structures comprising the limbic system we would be like disembodied spirits. (MacLean, 1958: 619)
(Count 1969: 99)
From: "Contrasting Functions of Limbic and Neocortical Systems of the Brain and their Relevance to Psychophysiological Aspects of Medicine" in American Journal of Medicine 25: 611-626.
One might think of the cerebral cortex as being to the cerebrum what a television screen is to a television set or what a radar screen is to a pilot. Presumably it represents Nature's attempt to give the organism as clear a picture as possible for making a successful adaption to the environment. Basically Nature has experimented with three types of cortex, or to use the language of our analogy, three types of screens. They may be appropriately referred to as the archicortex, mesocortek and neocortex... . The limbic cortex is structurally primitive compared with the neocortex. radarwise or televisionwise, it therefore might be expected not to present as clear a picture of the environment as the neocortex. Second, it shows essentially the same degree of development and organization throughout the mammalian series. This would suggest that it functions at an animalistic level in both animal and man. Finally ... the limbic cortex, in contrast to the neocortex, has strong reciprocating pathways with the hypothalamus and other ancient structures of the brain stem. This means that there is a strong projection of the visceral as well as the exteroceptive senses onto the old cortical screen. Presumably in an effort to obtain a clearer and better picture for the purposes of adapting to the external environment, Nature foshions the new screen so that it largely portrays what is transpiring in the external world. Finally a point is reached with man where a picture can be represented by word symbols alone...
... We might think of the old cortex, the old screen, as giving a muddied picture of the internal and external environment in terms of emotional feelings; whereas the evolving neocortex provides an ever clearer picture in the form of discriminative thought. But here the analogy ends, because the cortical screens are presumed to play back on a common cone within the brain stem. Through such reciprocity of action, one could visualize a mechanism whereby emotion might facilitate or paralyze thought, or by which thought might generate or control emotion.
(Count 1969: 100)
Exceedingly interesting stuff.
It is tantamount to impossible for humans to communicate voluntarily without 'symbol'. This essay must use 'symbolopoesis', 'symbolopoea' - yet leave 'symbol' undefined, and use the latter term opportunistically, as used by whichever authorities are being exploited. 'Symbol' will not mean the same thing to a psychoanalyst as to a neuropsychologist. But I doubt if the discussion will be clouded thereby. (Count 1969: 101)
I like these terms, but they are not necessary if one can use Peirce's terms appropriately.
In any event - the dichotomy of 'sign' and 'symbol' is unfelpful; and I believe it has actually handicapped our analyses. And from the standpoint of a neuropsychology - neither does an 'iconic'-'arbitrary' dichotomy have much heuristic value. Illustratively: The 'arbitrariness' of a linguistic symbol is genuine enough - but quite probably your limbic lobe is continuing to treat it iconically all the time, - and your supralimbic system probably would not be having its chance to display its 'arbitrary' menu in your dining-room where your limbic system not busy in the kitchen! (Count 1969: 102)
This is the exact point I thought I could make through the semiosphere, back in 2011, but was unable to do so.
What an animal communicates is an edited selection from what, to it, is space-time. Pre-ethological insight into this fundamental of annimal organization is to be credited to J. von Uexküll, in his development of the scheme of Merkwelt : Wirkwelt within the animal's Umwelt. Retrospectively, we may see this as the early gestation of an information-ecology. Ethology has its being in the behavioral approach to this ecology - and ethology's indebtedness to von Uexküll is quite specifically recognized (Lorenz, 1935). But the resolution of the same reality in terms of organization of space-time comes via the functional approach of neurophsychology.
There is good experimental evidence for the statement that the organization of an Umwelt, the organization of a space-time, begins peripherally in the receptor organs. Informally, we may note that the sleeper - human and other mammal (cat or dog) - may remain unaroused by certain strong stimuli yet be aroused by another one of far less intensity. (Count 1969: 103)
Paying intellectual dept to Uexküll. And experience does verify that the sound of something falling, for example, is much more "arousing" than continuous loud music.
In his essay of 1956, Alajouanine concludes that the disorders polarize around two kinds - 'Broca's' and 'Wernicke's'. The former, to put it simplistically, represents failure in motorizing; the latter, disturbances in what we may term here the organization of a completed ideation. (Count 1969: 105)
That is to say, one handles speech, the other language.
In the development of the individual, the distinction between the body and all external objects is the foundation upon which the distinction between self and not-self is based, however complex and intellectualized this distinction may ultimately become. (Brain, 1961: 171)
(Count 1969: 110)
Brain may be another example of someone who studies something after his or her last name. His book is titled Speech Disorders.
... Birkmeyer 91951) regarded the idea of space as being built up of concentric space-shells (Raumschalen), of which the innermost is constituted by the subject's own body. This shell is ontogenetically the earliest, and is the one which is most generously endowed with sensory material. Beyond lies the area of grasp, or of touch (Greifschale), and beyond that, the area of vision (Sehschale). Within each shell, the constituent sensory qualities are fused by means of a faculty of orientation. With each space-shell the subject commands different ranges of freedom. Boundaries between the various spaceshells are not absolutely rigid. Each different type of orientation is liable to its own patterns of dysfunction in cases of cerebral affection. Orientation in the outmost (visual) shell is regarded as most vulnerable since only one sensory system is concerned. ... But at a later stage still, it may seem as though the frontiers between personal and extrapersonal space becomes less sharp. This is the Ich-Lähmung of psychiatry, where there is an illusory fusion ('oneness') with the environment. Ego blends with non-ega. This may show itself by the patient confusing his own limbs with those of the examiner, or vice versa... . Particularly is this likely to happen when the examiner holds one of the patient's limbs: the patient may then imagine tha the examiner's hand is his; or that his own leg is part of the examiner... . (Critchely, 1953: 333, 335)
(Count 1969: 111)
I recall a gif image of a basketballer sitting on a bench next to another player and rubbing his knee, accidentally thinking it's his. The reference: The Parietal Lobes (1953).
When he attempted to write, however, he picked up the pencil naturally and appeared to write wit ha flourish, pausing naturally for punctuation and seemed fully satisfied with the result, which was simply a series of meaningless strokes. He refused to believe that he had not written down what he was asked. (Denny-Drown and Chambers, 1958: 36ff., condensed)
(Count 1969: 115)
Brain lesions are not funny, but this seems like a scene that can be used in fiction (UA, for example).
For any behavior is syndromal; speech itself is an ad hoc syndrome, and never is produced by cortical regions which abondon all othe ractivity while they concentrate their efforts for the moment, upon this exclusive program. (Count 1969: 119)
Speech is cognitively taking (takes up a lot of cognitive resources), which is why it is difficult to observe the nonverbal behaviour of others while you are yourself speaking.
It is equally certain that the human readiness to vocalize already has undergone development in utero which is unmatched by any other animal. The human birth-cry is as unique as it is spectacular: it has never been adequately accounted for. We may dismiss the rationalizations which point out its useful effects in clearing the respiratory tract etc.: they beg all the questions. Nor are 'outrage' and 'inferiority' as accountings any more helpful. (Count 1969: 121)
Clearing the respiratory tract sounds quite sensible - mostly because this simplistic rationalization is not mentioned by so many.

Lenneberg, Eric H. 1969. Problems in the Systematization of Communicative Behavior. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 131-137.

Description must be distinguished from reproduction. The former is based on selective emphasis with the intent of drawing attention to some aspects that are deemed, by the describer, to have some essential significance. Thus every description either implies or is at least the germ for a possible THEORY. There are a number of natural aids in description - ways to open our eyes to certain peculiarities. I am not thinking here of instruments but of methods. The most ancient one is COMPARISON. This is too obvious to need any further comments. Anything may be compared with anything else; there are no limitations of any kind, but the results of comparison vary greatly with regard to the insight that they afford. (Lenneberg 1969: 131)
This may be where I got the idea that perhaps instead of forcing my own typology or Ekman and Friesen's categories on my material (verbal descriptions of nonverbal behaviour), maybe I should look at it from the vantage point of "native theories" - that in order to describe bodily behaviours, the writers had to have their own theories about the importance of these behaviours. In Zamjatin there's almost a fully evolved "quasi-mathematical" theory of facial expressions, for example. Perhaps it would be more valuable to explicate these "native theories" (I lack a good term for what they are, but the emic/etic distinction can be used, if defined well enough to be understood).
Overlapping classes
When we have to classify entire natural complexes or objects with many aspects, it is usually impossible to find classification schemes that are satisfactory from all points of view. There is always some way in which classes overlap, or distinctions that are clear from one point of view break down from another. Relationships between such classes are best represented in the form of Euler-Venn diagrams such as shown in Fig. f.
(Lenneberg 1969: 134)
This is another hint that Ekman and Friesen had read this collection when they published their famous 1969 article. They used overlapping classes to illustrate their classification.
The aims of classification fall into three major categories. One may wish to classify in order to archive; that is, superimpose an order on things such as to enable us to store and to retrieve information with greatest efficiency. Library classifications are an example. A second type of purpose is to organize material in such a way as to facilitate thinking about it, recognizing it, or making decisions about it. This is one of the reasons for the classification of diseases, for instance. Certain types of classifications help the physician in making a differential diagnosis. Symptoms can first be divided into either of two classes so that a decision may be made between infectious diseases and diseases of non-infectious origin; if there are indications of the former one may ask whether it is bacterial or viral, and so on until only one possibility remains. A third and, in science, perhaps the most important purpose of classification is DISCOVERY. There are certain arguments that have the capacity of revealing inner constitution of or relationship between the classified and other objects, and from which it is possible to infer or reconstruct historical relationships, such as the phylogenetic tree. (Lenneberg 1969: 135)
This is almost inspirational. The first purpose is exemplified in last.fm tags or academia.edu research interests; the second seems fit for Ekman and Friesen's classification; and the third occurred with me when I wrote "Reembodying Semiotics of Culture" - the interrelationships that were made out of logical necessity revealed something new about the phenomena in question.

Moles, Abraham A. 1969. The Concept of Language from the Point of View of Animal Communication. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 138-145.

One of the major interests in the study of animal communication, from the point of view of information theory, is to obtain an enormous number of instances of communication, quite apart from language. One must first notice that communication systems are far more varied than 'language' systems in the classical sense, making use of a wide variety of channels; e.g., auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory, thermal, and electrical gradients. Of these, only the auditory and visual channels have received extensive study. We are overinfluenced by language and have a tendency to force its properties on the communication systems of animals. In particular, we are tempted to stress the purely communicative function of language and to overlook the two other functions of any semiotic system, for any such system performs the following three functions:
  1. communication proper; allowing another member of the community to share vicariously the experience of the transmitter.
  2. 'consciousness', or ideation; understanding oneself.
  3. innovation; introducing something new into the community's way of life. It is known that the extent to which a system performs this function is connected with the degree of ambiguity in the repertoire of signals within the system.
(Moles 1969: 138)
Moles includes autocommunication among the major function of communication. In Jakobson and Lotman the second and third function are actually somewhat conflated, as autocommunication is a major source of innovation ("new ideas" in Jakobson; "qualitatively new information" in Lotman).

Moulton, James M. 1969. The Classification of Acoustic Communicative Behavior Among Teleost Fishes. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 146-178.

The work of M. P. Fish (1948; 1949) in the late 1940's on sound-producing fishes and mammals of the Pacific constitutes the first serious modern attempt to catalogue marine animal sound sources and to compile behavioral observations on sound production by such animals. (Moulton 1969: 147)
A guy named Fish who studied fishes. Go figure.
It is always striking and it is sometimes deflating to read the conjectires of ancient workers in one's field, for they often strike so close to the truth intuitively as to embarrass those of us more pedantic in our approach to the same problem. (Moulton 1969: 147)
I don't know about embarrassment, but the ancients do seem to have been more aware of nonverbal communication than one may speculate. E.g. sermo corporis.
Until recent years, the definition of von Frisch that hearing is "the perception of sound vibrations by means of the inner ear in vertebrates" was thought to suffice. More recently, however, the question of a definition of hearing in fish has been more closely pursued, and modern definitions are likely to require behavioral responses. Pumphrey has in fact required of hearing that animal show a directional component relative to the sound source. (Moulton 1969: 152)
That is the half-life of facts (although, here it seems more prudent to call it half-life of definitions). "A directional component" was called, by Latif (1934), a "'topistic' response".
I accept Cherry's definition (1957: 6-7) of communication as, in simplest terms, the relationship set up by the transmission of stimuli and the eliciting of response; a sign being defined then as any physical event used in communication. I would include in Hockett's definition of communicative behavior (1958: 573) - "those acts by which one organism triggers another" - certain acts (the laying of a trail to be referred to on a later trip, echolocation) which are communicative to the originating organism at a future point in time: 'intra-individual' in the sense in which it is used by Wenner (this volume). Hockett's language design feature of TOTAL FEEDBACK (1960: 403; Hockett and Altmann, 1968) has not been adequately studied in fishes. (Moulton 1969: 162)
Cherry's definition is quite adequate - it embodies the "to reciprocate" and "to exchange" aspects emphasized by Wescott. What Moulton tries to improve in Hockett's definition is very clearly the addition of autocommunication. It is important to note here that echolocation is an example of autocommunication that occurs primarily through space.
The large numbers of anchovies, as well as of other fishes, which ordinarily comprise a school at sea, engenders considerable noise in the water - probably stemming from a complex of sources - noise which has been called swimming sounds (Moulton, 1960) and hydrodynamic noise (Shiskova, 1958). Specimens blinded either operatively or through a natural syndrome do not take up station in a school at rest, but swim about randomly. When the school begins to move, the blinded fish place themselves like normal fish in the school. (Moulton 1969: 170)
This is where Wescott's unique "biosocial" terminology could actually help - this is a case of strepitus (sounds produced by the body or it's movement) in fish.

Ramsay, Alexandra 1969. Time, Space, and Hierarchy in Zoosemiotics. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 179-199.

Approximately, in one of the early works devoted to an examination of The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Darwin used his data to show the similarity of behavioral traits in man and domesticated animals. The work that followed, though never stating the assumption outright, partook of the evolutionary model, and the thesis of straight line evolution, arguingi that the difference in communicative abilites between man and animals was one of degree - e.g., man has a larger 'vocabulary', a higher intelligence. (Ramsay 1969: 179)
I am also guilty of this assumption.
Language is, however, only one means by which man communicates; his other semiotic systems can be divided into two categories: those which are exclusively human and those which are not exclusively human, that is, those which can therefore be arranged directly as the end-product of an evolutionary continuum (see Diebold, 1968). It is important to point out that each and every signaling system is species-specific, thus insuring reproductive isolation. But while the organizing principles of the messages (the code) can be found to be typologicall similar between, for example, ants and tigers, no such formal similarities have been found between animals as closely related as the great apes and man. The question has turned from one of degree to one of kind. (Ramsay 1969: 180)
I still believe that there are four levels to speak of: universal (similarities in all creatures, life itself); species-pecific (similarities in all humans, for example); socio-cultural (similarities in people living in a specific society or partaking of the same culture); and finally personal (dissimilarities from other people). In these there are differences in both kind and degree.
Any effort dealing with communication must, perforce, define what is taken as communication; what criteria are used. The most pervasive definition in animal communication studies is along the lines of the response - a stimulus from one animal elicits a response from another, brings about a change in the behavior of the other (Birch, 1952). Often social communication (communication between animals as opposed to communication within the animal, or between the environment and the animal) is equated with social behavior, and communication is described under social or behavioral headings. We thus find alarm calls and postures, courtship behavior, aggressive behavior. Obviously, not all species are equally sociable. Not all species care for their young; not all congregate in year round aggregations; not all communicate about status. (Ramsay 1969: 181)
Birch's article is titled "Communication Between Animals". Bringing about a change in the behavior of the other is relevant because I need such a definition for the "seventh function" in my ("compounded") communication model. I've met a similar definition of communication, e.g. the sender influencing the receiver's behaviour and reducing it's uncertainty, quoted from someone named Wilson (1979) in Buck & VanLear (2002).
Jakobson (1964) has suggested that the acoustic modality is the one most adapted to the notion of hierarchy, the organizing principle of language. The not-too-subtle implication seems to be, that of the various modalities utilized in animal communication, only sound should receive scrutiny as a possible forerunner in the search for a linguistic homologue. (Ramsay 1969: 183)
But we must remember that Jakobson was an outright linguist who didn't care much for the other modalities. He was interested in semantics and phonetics and his signs are almost always linguistic signs. It seems erroneous to even try to apply Jakobson to animal communication. Jakobson's work seems best suited for the study of poetry.
Yet another approach to animal communication has considered the relative primacy among aspects in the communication event itself. Any communication event can be seen in terms of a hierarchical model. Of the six elements in its structure - the sender, receiver, code, message, context and channel - any one can be signled out for emphasis. In the terminology of Jakobson (1960), a communication focusing on the sender is emotive, giving information about the state of the organism, focusing on the receiver is termed conative, in lingusitic parlance an imperative - that is, giving instructions. If the context is elaborated upon, then the function is referential; if the code-oriented signal is primary, the event is to be classed as metacommunicative, pointing up the relationship between sender and receiver in terms of what they share, must agree upon, to communicate. The channel, when predominant, defines the phatic function. Messages which feature the message above all other elements (the poetic function) are those which have not been found to exist in animal communication (Sebeok, 19620. Metacommunicative messages are rare in animals, phatic are contextual less so perhaps, and the referential and emotive, in that order, occur with the highest frequency across species. (Ramsay 1969: 185-186)
There is another major way in which Jakobson has distorted Ruesch's notions. "Metacommunicative" is confused with "metalingual". Metacommunication - in it's original conception - is not about the code or "the relationship between sender and receiver in terms of what they share", but about messages in different modalities. This may have occurred because Jakobson's communication model is limited to linguistic communication only. In Ruesch's account, metacommunication refers to the relationship between verbal and nonverbal codifications. Jakobson's model has only one channel, because it is a static model; Ruesch's metacommunication is about the messages in different channels that coincide in time and pertain to each other's interpretation. It is beginning to seem as if there is something wrong with every function in Jakobson's model. I think I will have to explicate further, somewhere, the differences between metacommunication, metalinguistic function and, going further, metatextual stuff as well - because all these are so often confused.
The apparent beauty of this analysis lies in the identification of a diagnostic feature, which while a logical possibility in any communication system, seems to occur only in the linguistic one. The difficulty is, of course, in determining the hierarchical functions of the elements. There are certain traps encountered when one attempts to isolate a primary function - it is dependent on the point of view of the observer. If he takes the subjective part of the receiver, all messages appear as imperative. This kind of thinking originates from the definition of communication in response terms. If he considers messages as a manifestation of the emotional state of the animal, he may see the majority of events as emotive. If his orientation is the social one, messages establishing, servicing, and terminating contact between individual may outnumber others in his catalogue. From the definition, every message contains all functions in some degree. No operational criterion has been given by which to assign an event unambiguously to a class. (Ramsay 1969: 186)
That's because Jakobson's communication model is Ersatz and applies to poetry only. If one demands operational criterions, it is pertinent that one return to Jurgen Ruesch's 1953. "Synopsis of the Theory of Human Communication".
In territorial marking with chemicals (urine, glandular secretions), the circumscription of space is interpreted in the same manner as directionality in moths and ants: once the existence of the signal is determined its information is coded by comparison with lack of the signal, thus ants and dogs will zig-zag when following a chemical trail, perhaps to allow for the effects of habituation, but also to complete identification of the strength of a signal. (Ramsay 1969: 191)
Humans do that as well when they smell something. A vivid example occurred in the TV show The Office. The new employee thought there was a chemical spill and moved around the office to detect the smell. She found that the smell is the strongest near an overweight lady and only after proclaiming that there is a spill above her was she told that it's her perfume and everyone but her knew it.
The point is made that all information is processed as the relationship obtaining between external events. There are
statements about differences which exist among external objects or statements about changes which occur either in them or in our relationship to them... . What we perceive easily is difference and change ... and difference is a relationship. (Ruesch and Bateson, 1951: 173)
DIFFERENCES are structural, spaial and sequential. CHANGES are temporal, and often involve perceived movement. The first of these two principles pervades the social organization of animals; the second, that of man. (Ramsay 1969: 191)
Invaluable explication. But the generalization about social organization in animals presumes that their social organization doesn't change, which may not be true.
We already noted that one variety of study separated the minimum universal level of social contact. Animals are isolated, coming together only to mate. With the addition of parental behavior, degrees of association can be distinguished. One or both sexes enter into contact with their offspring. Aggregations, first consisting of one sex and offspring, can be discerned. These can be on a seasonal or permanent basis. Later, (in evolution) representatives of both sexes are found in these aggregations. At the extreme there exist gregarious societies; the sexes and young remain together throughout the year. (Ramsay 1969: 192)
I can think of two ways this bold statement can be used. Firstly, to indicate that marriage is not "natural". And secondly, to imply that men who play "the game" (sleep with a different girl they pick up at the bar every night) are reverting to being "animals" in this sense.
The spatial organization of animals is considered with regard to the mechanism of spacing, which is social, i.e., communicative. The mechanism carries the label 'dominance' which appears to be a basic component in the behavior of social animals. 'Territories regulate in space the dominance situations among individuals' (McBride, 1964: 100). (Ramsay 1969: 192)
This may explain why studies of human dominance have laid so much stress on spatial behaviour (the "higher" is literally higher, for example).
Territories need not be concretized in time in addition to space, while dominance hierarchies exist through time, for the most part:
Non-social animals maintain their spacing by display. When pairs meet there is a contest, sometimes involving a fight, sometimes highly formalized. Aggregated animals, on the other hand meet regularly, yet generally only settle their dominance relationships once, and these are learned and reinforced by a series of repeated threats and submissions. The result is that individuals within an aggregated group learn to recognize each other. The dominance type of social organization close aggregation could not exist without individual recognition. (McBride, 1964: 85)
A dominance hierarchy is a much more flexible organization of space than a territory, since the priorities associated with dominance are not restricted to fixed spatial terms, but operate in a wide range of situations. (Ramsay 1969: 193)
Another point in case: "peacocking" is a feature of non-social animals, but humans are social animals. I failed to make this point to a masculinist youtube user who seemed to believe that there are "alphas" and "betas" in human society, despite the fact that humans are not pack animals with persisting dominance hierarchies.
It is only language that can formalize the biological and behavioral relationships between individuals with labels, name the end-points of the relationships (Bateson, 1956). It is true that animals can recognize and react to individuals - this, as we have seen involves learning - i.e., memory, and implies a sense of time. The ability to refer backwards in time involves a retention and revival of signals - the storing of signals. The ability to refer to the future is a manipulation of recall in the construction of hypothetical situation (Bronowski, 1967). (Ramsay 1969: 194)
Beautifully stated. Also, see H. G. Wells's The Discovery of the Future (1902).

Sebeok, Thomas A. 1969. Semiotics and Ethology. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 200-231.

The essential unity of a zoosemiotic event may be decomposed, for a field obverver,s or laboratory experimenter's convenience, into six aspects, and the sphere of animal communication studies has, in practice, tended to divide roughly in accordance with these dimensions, the factors actually emphasized depending on each investigator's training and bias. The hexagonal model suggested here entails a communication unit in which a relatively small amount of energy or matter in an animal (a) the source, brings about a relatively large redistribution of energy or matter in another animal (or in another part of the same animal), (b) the destination, the postulates (c) a channel through which the participants are capable of establishing and sustaining contact. Every source requires a transmitter which serves to reorganize, by a process called encoding, the messages it produces into a form that the channel can accomodate; and a receiver is required to reconvert, by a process called decoding, the incoming mesages into a form that can be understood by the destination. The source and the destination are therefore said to fully, or at least partially, share (d) a code, which may be defined as that set of transformation rules whereby messages can be converted from one representation to another. The string generated by an application of a set of such rules is (e) a message, which may thus be considered an ordered selection from a conventional set of signs. The physical embodiment of a message is a signal, which is usually mixed with noise, a term that refers to variability at the destination not predictable from variability introduced at the soucre. Finally, to be operative the message presupposes (f) a context referred to, apprehensible by the destination. (Sebeok 1969: 201)
Another reiteration of Jakobson's model, with the significant addition that Sebeok has himself added the missing seventh component in the beginning of the description, borrowing it from the cybernetic theory (the now classical definition of something being a sign if it releases more energy than was consumed in producing it, like the whistle that announces lunch break and makes all the workers move towards the cafeteria). Being as considerate as always, he even includes autocommunication in this formulation!
Although all six factors are normally present whenever communication takes place, one or more sector may be abstracted for purposes of analysis and, accordingly, three unevenly matured and somewhat overlapping fields of investigation can be distinguished: zoopragmatics, which deals with the origin, propagation, and effects of signs, in brief (a), (b), and (c); zoosemiantics, which deals with the signification of signs, in brief (f); and zoosyntactics, which deals with combinations of signs without regard for their special significations or their relation to the behavioral setting in which they occur, in brief (d) and (e). (Sebeok 1969: 201)
These sound cool, but despite having read Morris and being familiar with Jakobson's model, I can't make out the import of this unification.
Optical systems presuppose reflected daylight in the case of diurnal species and bioluminescence in those that dwell in dark but transparent media. Patterns of visual activity are highly variable as to shape and color, in time and range of intensity. They can also be actively displayed by movements and postures, as in the three-spined stickleback, and by facial expressions, as in the primates; or by intermittent flashing, as in fireflies. Visual signs are thus both flexible and transient: they can be rapidly switched on or off. These capacities allow for precise coding of information, nad may even be exploited to misdirect, as in protective displays involving 'eyespots' in moths. Ethologists, who are often concerned with the origin and evolution of visual and other forms of signaling behavior, have described and provisionally classified them into three principal categories: very low intensity 'intention' movements, that is, those which seem to be preparatory or incipient portions of functional acts (e.g., the repeated take-off leap of a bird before flying); autonomic effects (e.g., piloerection in the dog); and so called 'displacement' movements, that is, those which appear to be irrelevant in the context in which they are delivered (e.g., the courtship preening of pigeons). An evolutionary process of increased adaption to the signaling function is referred to and discussed in the extensive literature of ethology under the label of 'ritualization'. (Sebeok 1969: 202-203)
Merely interestibilia.
Although at this stage of zoopragmatics it is both necessary and proper to distinguish the several channels, to study each in isolation, as it were, the redundancy which prevails, to the user's profit, among the multiplicity of bands in natural systems - an effect sometimes referred to as 'the law of heterogeneous summation' - must soon become an object of both theoretical and practical concern. The over-all code which regulates an animal communication network often seems to consist of a set of subcodes, grouped in a hierarchy, fluctuations among which depend on such factors as the kind of information to be transmitted, the availability of alternative channels, or the distance between source and receiver. Thus, in the mountain gorilla, vocalizations, employed in dense vegetation, serve to draw attention to the animal emitting them; these sounds notify other gorillas of the specific emotional state of the performer and alert them to watch for gestures which then communicate further information. Postures and gestures, especially facial expressions, coordinate behavior within the group when the distance among the members decreases, while the visual subcode is in turn replaced by the tactile subcode when the distance is still further diminished, as between a female and her small infant. (Sebeok 1969: 205)
(1) One more critique of Jakobson: he seems to follow this law insofar as he calls out the interrelation of various systems of signs, but it is not an actual theoretical or practical concern for him. Even in the three-page paper "Communication and Society" which would allow for explication on this topic, he merely notes this interconnection and proceeds to talk linguistics. (2) Coordination of behaviour is another name for the regulation of behaviour.
It is convenient to distinguish human semiotic systems from those employed by the speechless creatures.
Human semiotic systems are of two kinds: anthroposemiotic, that is, species-specific systems of man, and zoosemiotic, that is, those component subsystems of human communication that are also found elsewhere in the animal kingdom.
Anthroposemiotic systems are: language; macrostructures, or secondary semiotic systems implying a verbal infrastructure; and other systems, that function independently of any language system.
Zoosemiotic system in man include paralinguistic, kinesic, proxemic, and mony other devices, classifiable, in a preliminary way, in terms of the channel employed. (Sebeok 1969: 209)
The word "convenient" is unlucky. By 1975 he has seen that it is indeed not very convenient and states: "This distinction is, however, both awkward and hard to maintain in practice." (1975: 11). Also, note that this was published a year before Birdwhistell's Kinesics and Context so he might not have known that kinesics has very much to do with language - kinesic patterns go along with linguistic patterns (e.g., Birdwhistell's paracommunication).

Being as helpful and instructive as always, Sebeok included a guide to literature on ethology that might be revelant for semioticians. What makes this list of references a true guide is that, first time for my eyes ever, he has written short descriptions for almost all entries (apart from those that appear in this very collection). I doubt if I ever get to read any or all of these, but one may dream!
  • Andrew, R. J., 1962a. Evolution of facial expressions. Science, Vol. 142, pp. 1034-1041. [Some human expressions are traced back to reflex responses of primitive primates and insectivores.]
  • Baerends, G. P., 1958. Comparative methods and the concept of homology in the study of behaviour. Archives Neerlandaises de Zoologie, Vol. 13, pp. 401-417. [Considers the motor systems underlying behavior.]
  • Barnett, S. A., 1967. Instinct and Intelligence: Behavior of Animals and Men. Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall, Inc. [Deals with species-specific action patterns and drive on the one hand and adaptable behavior on the other; analysis of behavior by experiment, concentrating on communication especially in Ch. 6.]
  • Carthy, J. D., 1966. The Study of Behaviour. New York, St. Martin's Press. [An elementary textbook.]
  • DeVore, P. (Ed.), 1965. The Origin of Man. New York, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. [Transcript of a symposium. Ch. 5 deals with language and communication, wit ha bibliography of this on pp. 149-150. Various speakers and discussion.]
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. 1966. Ethologie: Die Biologie des Verhaltens. Frankfurt am Main, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion. [Authoritative recent handbook of ethology; extensive references, pp. 542-559.]
  • Frank, L. K., 1957. Tactile communication. Genetic Psychology Monographs, Vol. 56, pp. 209-255. [Deals with tactile-cutaneous processes, tactile experiences in personality development, cultural patterning of tactire processes, and the pathology of tactilism.]
  • Geldard, F. A., 1960. Some neglected possibilities of communication. Science, Vol. 131, pp. 1583-1588. [Deals with cutaneous communication.]
  • Griffin, D. R., 1958. Listening in the Dark. New Haven, Yale University Press. [On the acoustic orientation of bats and men.]
  • Hediger, H., 1967. Verstehens- und Verständigungsmöglichkeiten zwischen mensch und Tier. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Psychologie und ihre Anwendungen, Vol. 26, pp. 234-255. [Discussion of the extent to which animals understand human intentions by expressions and minute involuntary movements; references on man-animal communication.]
  • Huxley, J. (Ed.), 1966. A Discussion of Ritualization of Behaviour in Animals and Man. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 251, Series B. 772, pp. 247-526. [Records of a discussion held in 1965. Introduction by Huxley is followed by papers organized around the following topics: the psychobiological approach; play; abnormal rituals in stress situations; ontogeny of ritualization; ritualization of animal activities in relation to phylogeny, speciation, and ecology; ritualization of human cultural activities; ritualization in man in general and in relation to the "modern crisis"; and films and sound recordings. Twenty-five platen, many references.]
  • Kalmus, H., 1962. Analogies of language to life. Language and Speech, Vol. 5, pp. 15-25. [Discusses parallels and differences between language and other sorts of biological communication.]
  • Marler, P. 1961a. The logical analysis of animal communication. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 1, pp. 295-317. [A semiotic analysis of animal signals.]
  • McBride, G., 1968. On the evolution of human language. Social Science Information, Vol. 7. [Clues as to how language may have evolved are sought in animal communication, non-verbal communication in humans, and the structure of language.]
  • Portmann, A., 1953. Das Tier als Soziales Wesen. Zürich, Rhein-Verlag AG. [Available in a 1961 English translation. Concerned with the basic phenomena of social life, including communication; Ch. 4 deals with the organs of communication.]
  • Smith, W. J., 1965. Message, meaning, and context in ethology. The American Naturalist, Vol. 99, pp. 405-409. [The concepts named in the title are explained and exemplified, and discussed in relation to the analysis of animal communication.]
  • Thorpe, W. H., and Zangwill, O. L., 1961. Current Problems in Animal Behaviour. Cambridge, University Press. [A collection of articles devoted to neural mechanisms and behavior, miscellaneous experimental studies, studies of problems common to the psychology of animals and men, and some theoretical approaches to behavior.]
I can only hope that at least some of these are available in Sebeok's personal collection.

Wenner, Adrian M. 1969. The Study of Animal Communication: An Overviev. In: Sebeok, Thomas A. and Alexandra Ramsay (eds.), Approaches to Animal Communication. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 232-243.

Before proceeding far into the building of a framework, one point needs clarification, namely, the distinction between a study of animal communication and a study of animal behavior. A study of animal behavior largely concerns itself with an analysis of the activities of a sender or receiver, before and after signals (stimuli) pass. A study of animal communication, on the other hand, concentrates on an analysis of those signals which produce certain types of activity and on attendant circumstances which contribute to the activity generated.
Historically, animal behavior has received the more attention of the two, mostly due to our lack of ability (before the recent rapid advances in technology) to accurately measure, dissect, and imitate signals. That is, it is relatively easy to see an animal do something, but it may be very difficult to interpret the signal(s) responsible. Now, however, with the introduction of ever better equipment and methods, we find an increasing emphasis on the effect signals have on the behavior of animals. (Wenner 1969: 234)
(1) The distinction between mere behaviour and communicative (reciprocal) behaviour has been a large topic in the study of human behaviour as well. (2) It seems so commonplace that "the seventh element" is included here - what I call the regulative function is here indicated by expressions such as "signals which produce certain types of activity" and the effect signals have on the behavior of animals". That is, the effect of communication is considered. In the end this seems to be the reason why Jakobson's model remained static and impractical: he didn't include the effect of communication, which is what communication is actually about (producing an effect in another, influencing another - or oneself).
Intra-individual signals generally fall into the realm of physiology, although animal behaviorists must consider the impact of internal signals on behavior when behavior is presumably elicited in response to signals from the environment (just as a physiologist must be concerned with changes in an animal's physiology resulting from recepit of signals from the environment). (Wenner 1969: 235)
Curiously, when speaking of intra-individual signals in humans, e.g. autocommunication, we are more likely to ascribe it to the realm of psychology.
Important Factors in Understanding the Use of Signals by Animals
  1. Physical characteristics
    1. Nature of the channel
      1. mechanical, electromagnetic, chemical, electrical
      2. quality of signals
      3. complexity of a signal
    2. Medium of transmission
      1. air, water, substrate
      2. background noise
    3. Time relationships - past, present, future use of a signal
    4. Variability of signals (vs. stereotypy)
    5. Substitution possibilities
      1. redundancy within a signal
      2. redundancy between signals
(Wenner 1969: 239)
These factors are general enough to have heuristic value in my own research on concourse as well.
P.S. I couldn't find anything on Maude Poiret's book Body Talk: The Signs of Kinesics that was listed in Sebeok's bibliography (1975), because there is no such book. Maude Poiret's book bears the title Body Talk: The Science of Kinesics. What does this slip say about Sebeok?


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