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illustration Anthropoglot

Anthropoglot

[an-THRə-poh-glot]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin/Greek, 18th century

1.

An animal (e.g. a parrot) whose tongue is similar to a human tongue, making possible sounds similar to human speech.

Examples of Anthropoglot in a sentence

"Harry had an affinity for anthropoglots and had several talking birds as pets."

"An anthropoglot doesn’t actually know what it’s saying, but sometimes the animal’s “statements” sound convincingly real."

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illustration Anthropoglot

About Anthropoglot

“Anthropoglot” is based either on the Latin “anthropoglottus” or the related Greek “ἀνθρωπόγλωττος,” both meaning “speaking like a human being.” As a prefix, “anthropo-“ indicates human beings, while “glot” indicates knowledge of language.

Did you Know?

The definition of “anthropoglot” usually refers to animals with tongues — such as parrots and other talking birds — who can “speak” like humans. Yet one of the most fascinating animals to learn to “speak” human language does so without using its tongue. Rather, South Korea’s Koshik the elephant has proven himself capable of “speaking” Korean by placing his trunk in his mouth against his molars and tongue, and using his trunk as a stand-in for a tongue in order to simulate what scientists called “very accurate imitations of speech.” In 2006, Koshik was capable of simulating the words “yes,” “no,” “sit,” and “lie down,” among a few others, in Korean.

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