Subject: Dolphin language

Lindsay J Porter (
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 21:17:49 +0800 (HKT)

>My name is Erin.  I'm in seventh grade and have to do a report on 
>whales and porpoises (their language).  I have gone from website to 
>website looking for information.  I have visited many and each 
>website tells me something different.  One is telling me they have no 
>language and the other is contradicting the theory that dolphins 
>don't have a language (in other words saying they do) and I am 
>completely and utterly confused can you help me.  If so E-mail me 
>back before the end of this week please.

Dear Erin,
There are - as you have found out - several theories on whale and dolphin
'communication'.  Much debate occurs between those researchers who believe
in a 'language' (using its dictionary defination) and those who don't.  A
most balanced paper which discusses both intelligence and communication can
be found on

A bibliography of other available information on this topic can be found on

As far as I am aware, there is no definitive proof for either arguement.

I hope these sites help 
with all best wishes
Lindsay J Porter
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong