Preparations for War. The Peace of Teschen. The Diplomacy of Joseph as Emperor. Plans for a Bavarian Exchange. Exchange Negotiations. We call this biological sonar or biosonar for short, and toothed whales share this trait with bats, the only other animals that use biosonar while capturing prey. When swimming and searching for prey, harbor porpoises emit clicks about 20 times a second.
The pattern of emitted signals during prey capture is very similar among harbor porpoises and other toothed whales, as well as in insectivorous bats. Spectra of the two clicks are shown in the bottom panel. Illustration by Tom Dunne. Besides echolocation, porpoises also use their high-pitched clicks for communication. Actually these are the only signals heard from harbor porpoises. Most dolphins, unlike porpoises, use a wide range of whistles and clicks for communication. By varying the repetition rate of clicks, porpoises can express various types of signals, but the meaning of these click patterns is still largely unknown.
Just after birth, the calf started to emit relatively low-pitched signals, audible to humans. Within an hour, it started to produce clicks with high frequencies centered around the main frequency of the adult clicks see figure above. Harbor porpoises make their click sounds with a pair of special organs called the phonic lips , located in the nasal air passage just below the blowhole.
The blowhole is really the fused nostrils of the whale, having migrated upwards during evolutionary time to facilitate breathing. The porpoise forces air through the phonic lips, which causes these structures to vibrate and produce clicks. We have shown that they use primarily only the right pair of phonic lips for click generation, as do other toothed whales, for reasons that remain unknown.
The sound leaves the head through the fatty roundish tissue between the rostrum and the blowhole, called the melon. Harbor porpoises use structures called phonic lips to create clicks. The returned echoes are funneled through specialized fat channels to the middle and inner ears.
The latter are located in bony capsules separate from the skull, to aid in locating the direction of sounds. Properties of the melon and structures around it cause the sound to be emitted in a narrow beam, about 12 degrees wide.
This beam, together with the high frequencies, enables the porpoise to focus sound on the target while reducing echoes from nearby objects. Also, high frequencies will in general improve the resolution of the biosonar system, making it possible for the porpoise to obtain information about small objects and prey. Ronald A. Kastelein and his colleagues of the Sea Mammal Research Company in the Netherlands found the best sensitivity at about kilohertz with an extremely low auditory threshold see figure below.
The auditory sensitivity of the harbor porpoise is about the same as the most sensitive bat, Megaderma lyra. Audiograms for human hearing in air blue and harbor porpoise hearing in water green shows how much more sensitive porpoise hearing is over that of humans, and the broader frequency range over which porpoises can pick up sound.
The sound intensity is in decibels relative to the human hearing threshold intensity in air of 1 to 2 kilohertz. Data adapted by Tom Dunne from Kastelein et al. Hearing can be studied using psychophysics, where the animal is trained to reply whether or not it can hear a sound presented to it. This process is very similar to how hearing is normally measured in humans. Such experiments, however, take intensive training of the animal and consequently a very long time.
Therefore scientists increasingly rely on direct electrophysiological measurements of the neural response to sound. The deflection of the hair cells in the cochlea causes neurons in the eighth cranial nerve to generate action potentials. Watch a video that shows an example of one such experiment where two different spheres—one aluminum and the other plastic—are introduced to a blindfolded porpoise that must locate the aluminum sphere:.
The auditory ganglia in the brain stem contain numerous large neurons that produce big electrical responses and rapidly conduct neural signals to the auditory cortex. This neural activity can readily be recorded via electrodes attached to the skin near the source. This is the auditory brain stem response ABR to sound stimuli.
The same technique is used to measure the hearing abilities of newborn babies. When working with harbor porpoises, we attach suction cup electrodes to the skin of the head and back regions and, with the appropriate recording equipment, we can measure ABR to their echolocation clicks as well as to the echoes from objects they ensonify see figure below. The animal, equipped with electrodes, is trained to swim down to a hoop top , where a screen blocks vision but not acoustic signals.
A target is placed at varying distances, and the porpoise's returned echolocation signals are recorded bottom. The animal swims to a response paddle if it detects the target. Adapted by Tom Dunne from Linnenschmidt et al. Recently we used combined methods to study echolocation and hearing in harbor porpoises at the same time. First, we designed a psychophysical experiment around echolocation. The porpoise was sent down to a hoop, where it remained stationed in front of an opaque screen and an acoustic screen.
In some trials, a target a hollow centimeter-long cylinder was lowered down one meter on the other side of the opaque and acoustic screens at different distances two, four, and eight meters from the porpoise. When the acoustic screen was removed, the animal could echolocate through the opaque screen, but could not see the target. A hydrophone on the acoustic axis recorded the level of the emitted clicks.
For a target present, the animal should leave the hoop and indicate that it can detect the cylinder by touching the tip of its rostrum on a response paddle at the surface. If the target is not there, the animal should stay at the station for a certain time. If the animal makes the correct choice, the trainer reinforces the porpoise by blowing a whistle and giving it a fish reward. While the animal is performing the behavioral experiment, ABR electrodes in suction cups are attached so we can also obtain information on its hearing abilities.
With this method we can record the ABR of sounds made by the porpoise, the emitted click level, as well as that of echoes returning from the target. This experimental setup is similar to that used on dolphins at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology spearheaded by Paul Nachtigall, Alexander Supin, and their colleagues.
As the target range increases, the sound level of the echo decreases, meaning that the ABR elicited by the echo should also decrease. But the surprising result in our studies, and in those on dolphins too, was that the ABR generated by the echo remained nearly unchanged, independent of target distance.
German to English translator specialising in the humanities and social sciences
It seems that the animal can adjust the perceived sound to a convenient level and thus compensate for attenuation caused by changes in distance to the target. This ability may help the animal detect, localize, and classify targets. Several mechanisms can explain these behaviors. First of all, the emitted sound level is reduced when the target range decreases. Second, the powerful outgoing signal affects the echo reception, a well-described phenomenon not only in whales but also in other mammals.
Our harbor porpoise study suggests that besides these two mechanisms, there is a third one in play. This mechanism seems to be able to reduce the hearing sensitivity in a way not explained by the other two. Danish porpoises live in shallow waters mainly less than 50 meters deep, and will go for minute-long dives to hunt for their favorite prey, a variety of small fish and squid. Fishermen accidentally by-catch harbor porpoises in gill nets, where the porpoises can drown.
But the properties of porpoise biosonar indicate they should be able to detect gill nets at distances of 5 to 10 meters. In fact it seems porpoises can detect nets at much greater distances. Porpoises are found very close to the coast at our Northern Funen field site. When comparing the distribution of porpoises, he could see that the porpoises reacted to the fishing net at very long distances, beyond 50 meters and perhaps close to meters.
These are much longer detection ranges than previously assumed. If the porpoises can detect fishing nets at such great distances, then why do they get by-caught? One obvious possibility is that they are directing their biosonar somewhere other than at the nets. We know porpoises like to feed on bottom-dwelling fish and in this case they would not detect a gill net because the animals would be directing their biosonar downward instead of forward.
One technique that has proven useful for reducing by-catch is placing acoustic alarms on fishing nets.
3.5.2 General vocabulary
Such alarms either scare porpoises away or draw their attention to the net, hopefully causing the porpoise to avoid it. Studies by Finn Larsen at the Technical University of Denmark and others show that acoustic alarms on nets indeed reduce porpoise by-catch. It does not take many seconds for a porpoise to localize, approach, and capture the fish. This behavior has been studied in great detail.
The animals are trained to wear suction cups on their eyes, occluding visual cues, but they can still find and capture the fish by emitting clicks and listening for the returning echoes. This experiment has taught us much about how porpoises use their biosonar. First, just like other echolocators, porpoises avoid "stepping on their own echoes.
While searching for prey, porpoises usually emit clicks of rather long inter-click intervals about 50 milliseconds , allowing echoes to return from ranges of up to a few tens of meters before the next signal is emitted. The animal is constantly moving its head, and thus the sound beam, from side to side and up and down while searching for interesting echoes from different directions. A porpoise wears eye covers and a digital tag during an experiment to record the stream of clicks it produces when catching prey.
In nouns, inflection for case is required in the singular for strong masculine and neuter nouns only in the genitive and in the dative only in fixed or archaic expression , and even this is losing ground to substitutes in informal speech. Weak masculine nouns share a common case ending for genitive, dative and accusative in the singular. Feminine nouns are not declined in the singular. The plural has an inflection for the dative. In total, seven inflectional endings not counting plural markers exist in German: -s, -es, -n, -ns, -en, -ens, -e.
In German orthography, nouns and most words with the syntactical function of nouns are capitalised to make it easier for readers to determine the function of a word within a sentence Am Freitag ging ich einkaufen. Unlike English, whose newer compounds or combinations of longer nouns are often written in "open" with separating spaces, German like some other Germanic languages nearly always uses the "closed" form without spaces, for example: Baumhaus "tree house". Like English, German allows arbitrarily long compounds in theory see also English compounds. However, examples like this are perceived by native speakers as excessively bureaucratic, stylistically awkward or even satirical.
The meaning of basic verbs can be expanded and sometimes radically changed through the use of a number of prefixes. Other prefixes have only the vaguest meaning in themselves; ver- is found in a number of verbs with a large variety of meanings, as in ver suchen to try from suchen to seek , ver nehmen to interrogate from nehmen to take , ver teilen to distribute from teilen to share , ver stehen to understand from stehen to stand. Many German verbs have a separable prefix, often with an adverbial function. In finite verb forms, it is split off and moved to the end of the clause and is hence considered by some to be a "resultative particle".
For example, mitgehen , meaning "to go along", would be split, giving Gehen Sie mit? Literal: "Go you with? German word order is generally with the V2 word order restriction and also with the SOV word order restriction for main clauses. For polar questions , exclamations and wishes, the finite verb always has the first position.
In subordinate clauses, the verb occurs at the very end. German requires for a verbal element main verb or auxiliary verb to appear second in the sentence. The verb is preceded by the topic of the sentence. The element in focus appears at the end of the sentence. For a sentence without an auxiliary, these are some possibilities:.
The position of a noun in a German sentence has no bearing on its being a subject, an object or another argument. In a declarative sentence in English, if the subject does not occur before the predicate, the sentence could well be misunderstood. The flexible word order also allows one to use language "tools" such as poetic meter and figures of speech more freely. When an auxiliary verb is present, it appears in second position, and the main verb appears at the end. This occurs notably in the creation of the perfect tense.
Many word orders are still possible:. The main verb may appear in first position to put stress on the action itself. The auxiliary verb is still in second position. Sentences using modal verbs place the infinitive at the end. For example, the English sentence "Should he go home? Thus, in sentences with several subordinate or relative clauses, the infinitives are clustered at the end. Compare the similar clustering of prepositions in the following highly contrived English sentence: "What did you bring that book that I do not like to be read to out of up for?
German subordinate clauses have all verbs clustered at the end. Given that auxiliaries encode future , passive , modality , and the perfect , very long chains of verbs at the end of the sentence can occur. In these constructions, the past participle in ge- is often replaced by the infinitive.
Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the European language family. Latin words were already imported into the predecessor of the German language during the Roman Empire and underwent all the characteristic phonetic changes in German. Their origin is thus no longer recognizable for most speakers e.
Borrowing from Latin continued after the fall of the Roman Empire during Christianization, mediated by the church and monasteries.
Another important influx of Latin words can be observed during Renaissance humanism. In a scholarly context, the borrowings from Latin have continued until today, in the last few decades often indirectly through borrowings from English. During the 15th to 17th centuries, the influence of Italian was great, leading to many Italian loanwords in the fields of architecture, finance, and music.
The influence of the French language in the 17th to 19th centuries resulted in an even greater import of French words. The English influence was already present in the 19th century, but it did not become dominant until the second half of the 20th century. At the same time, the effectiveness of the German language in forming equivalents for foreign words from its inherited Germanic stem repertory is great. The tradition of loan translation was revitalized in the 18th century, with linguists like Joachim Heinrich Campe , who introduced close to words that are still used in modern German.
Even today, there are movements that try to promote the Ersatz substitution of foreign words deemed unnecessary with German alternatives. As in English, there are many pairs of synonyms due to the enrichment of the Germanic vocabulary with loanwords from Latin and Latinized Greek. These words often have different connotations from their Germanic counterparts and are usually perceived as more scholarly.
The size of the vocabulary of German is difficult to estimate. The modern German scientific vocabulary is estimated at nine million words and word groups based on the analysis of 35 million sentences of a corpus in Leipzig, which as of July included million words in total. The Duden is the de facto official dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years. As of August [update] , it is in its 27th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords , etymology , pronunciation , synonyms , and so forth.
The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung German Orthography , has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German. The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and usage of German. It is the Austrian counterpart to the German Duden and contains a number of terms unique to Austrian German or more frequently used or differently pronounced there.
The most recent edition is the 42nd from The dictionary is also officially used in the Italian province of South Tyrol. This is a selection of cognates in both English and German. Instead of the usual infinitive ending -en German verbs are indicated by a hyphen "-" after their stems. Words that are written with capital letters in German are nouns. German is written in the Latin alphabet. Because legibility and convenience set certain boundaries, compounds consisting of more than three or four nouns are almost exclusively found in humorous contexts.
In contrast, although English can also string nouns together, it usually separates the nouns with spaces. For example, "toilet bowl cleaner". Some operating systems use key sequences to extend the set of possible characters to include, amongst other things, umlauts; in Microsoft Windows this is done using Alt codes. German readers understand these transcriptions although they appear unusual , but they are avoided if the regular umlauts are available because they are a makeshift, not proper spelling.
In Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, city and family names exist where the extra e has a vowel lengthening effect, e. There is no general agreement on where letters with umlauts occur in the sorting sequence. Telephone directories treat them by replacing them with the base vowel followed by an e. Some dictionaries sort each umlauted vowel as a separate letter after the base vowel, but more commonly words with umlauts are ordered immediately after the same word without umlauts.
These variants of the Latin alphabet are very different from the serif or sans-serif Antiqua typefaces used today, and the handwritten forms in particular are difficult for the untrained to read. The printed forms, however, were claimed by some to be more readable when used for Germanic languages. The Nazis initially promoted Fraktur and Schwabacher because they were considered Aryan , but they abolished them in , claiming that these letters were Jewish. The Fraktur script however remains present in everyday life in pub signs, beer brands and other forms of advertisement, where it is used to convey a certain rusticality and antiquity.
Many Antiqua typefaces include the long s also. A specific set of rules applies for the use of long s in German text, but nowadays it is rarely used in Antiqua typesetting. The long s only appears in lower case. The orthography reform of led to public controversy and considerable dispute. After 10 years, without any intervention by the federal parliament, a major revision was installed in , just in time for the coming school year. In , some traditional spellings were finally invalidated, whereas in , on the other hand, many of the old comma rules were again put in force.
Traditionally, this letter was used in three situations:. In German, vowels excluding diphthongs; see below are either short or long , as follows:. In general, the short vowels are open and the long vowels are close. Whether any particular vowel letter represents the long or short phoneme is not completely predictable, although the following regularities exist:. Both of these rules have exceptions e. For an i that is neither in the combination ie making it long nor followed by a double consonant or cluster making it short , there is no general rule.
In some cases, there are regional differences: In central Germany Hessen , the o in the proper name "Hoffmann" is pronounced long, whereas most other Germans would pronounce it short; the same applies to the e in the geographical name " Mecklenburg " for people in that region. With approximately 25 phonemes, the German consonant system exhibits an average number of consonants in comparison with other languages. The consonant inventory of the standard language is shown below.
German does not have any dental fricatives as English th. The th sounds, which the English language still has, disappeared on the continent in German with the consonant shifts between the 8th and the 10th centuries. The German language is used in German literature and can be traced back to the Middle Ages , with the most notable authors of the period being Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach.
The Nibelungenlied , whose author remains unknown, is also an important work of the epoch. The fairy tales collections collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century became famous throughout the world.
Reformer and theologian Martin Luther , who was the first to translate the Bible into German, is widely credited for having set the basis for the modern "High German" language. English has taken many loanwords from German, often without any change of spelling aside from, often, the elimination of umlauts and not capitalizing nouns :. The government-backed Goethe-Institut  named after the famous German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe aims to enhance the knowledge of German culture and language within Europe and the rest of the world.
This is done by holding exhibitions and conferences with German-related themes, and providing training and guidance in the learning and use of the German language. The Dortmund-based Verein Deutsche Sprache VDS , which was founded in , supports the German language and is the largest language association of citizens in the world.
The VDS has more than thirty-five thousand members in over seventy countries. Its founder, statistics professor Dr. The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle is the equivalent of the British BBC World Service and provides radio and television broadcasts in German and 30 other languages across the globe. Deutsche Welle also provides an e-learning website to learn German. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. West Germanic language. For other uses, see Deutsch disambiguation and German disambiguation.
Not to be confused with Germanic languages. Language family. German Standard German. Austrian Standard German. Writing system. Signed forms. Co- Official and majority language. Co-official, but not majority language. Non-statutory minority language. Main article: History of German. Main article: Old High German. Old Frisian Alt-Friesisch. Old Alemannic Alt-Alemannisch. Old Bavarian Alt-Bairisch. Main article: Middle High German. Main article: Early New High German. Main article: Geographical distribution of German speakers.
Germany Austria 8. Switzerland 5. Italy South Tyrol 0. Other 7. German is a co-official language, but not the first language of the majority of the population. German or a variety of German is spoken by a sizeable minority, but has no legal recognition. Main article: List of territorial entities where German is an official language. Main article: German language in Namibia. Main article: Brazilian German. Main article: Colonia Tovar dialect.
Main article: Standard German. Main article: German dialects. Main article: Low German. Main article: High German languages. Main article: German grammar. Further information: Grammatical gender in German. Main article: German verbs. Main articles: German orthography and German braille. German alphabet. Listen to a German speaker recite the alphabet in German. Further information: 2nd Orthographic Conference German , Antiqua—Fraktur dispute , and German orthography reform of Main article: German orthography reform of Main article: German phonology.
Further information: High German consonant shift. Main article: German literature. Main article: Goethe-Institut. Main article: Deutsche Welle.