There is a lot of research on animal communication in the sense of communicating with conspecifics; this is not the case with interspecies communication because this would mean animals having the ability to grasp the principles of human language,
This is where I get stuck ...... in interspecies communication, ... You mean that animals would have to grasp human language in order to be seen as beings who communicate .... with or without this thing called "language"?
and as for the reverse, it takes great dedication to understand an animal's communications (with its conspecifics, let alone whether it may want or need to communicate with us).
Not really. It may want or need to communicate with us if it is WITH us .... is living in our home or close to. But it need not language to convey its needs.
The latter, I think, is most successful with domesticated species - not only have they come to rely on us, but we (at least until recently, in modern Western society) relied on them.
We have always relied on them ... it has been a mutual reliance from a very, very long time ago. Look at the history of dogs and humans for example. This is an ancient story ..... and of course, there are many examples of the mutuality of our relatonships with animals which is quite natural.
A great example of such an animal communicator, I think, is Temple Grandin. Others are some of the best animal trainers and husbandry personnel, call them "horse whisperers" or whatever; what these men and women have is an ability to read the cues animals give about themselves, and who know how to get across to an animal what the human wants.
Yes. It is sometimes called a "relationship".
Note, however, that while such humans can often "read" an animal quickly, the animal may not do so as fast, and need to learn by repeated trial and error what it asked of it. The best animal trainers and educators rely very much on animal learning theory; a very good example of this is Andrew McLean, who is revolutionising horse training, and has extended his methods to other species such as working elephants.
These guys do not work in circuses. Note. And go ahead ... thank God too.
Note though that communication often is "non-verbal",
Which takes a certain kind of intuition ... since you cannot depend on language.
and though body language and overt behaviour. While our domesticated animals can learn to understand human words (commands), again, such commands usually cannot be embedded in a sentence but need to be given in a clear voice, preferably calling the animal by name first if they are not already attending to the human. Even so, grasp of verbal command is limited, even in dogs - with prolonged training, a dog may learn some sixty "pure" (no added body language) commands; however, dogs, and also horses, are very good at picking up on human body language, as the classical story of "Clever Hans", the horse that could do arithmetic, shows. And some dogs are very good with names - there are several studies now of dogs that learned the names of hundreds of objects, and could retrieve them (look for studies by Kaminski), and not only that, but could pick out pictures of an object, or a smaller version of it (something only chimpanzees were thought capable of) - which brings me to the ape language experiments which while impressive (at least where apes use symbols for words, not sign language which is too iffy and open to interpretation), still have not a patch on human language development.
Not a patch .... but why the interest in the first place? Why the focus on language? How did language become the finishing touch? Why is it important that other animals have language?
It has taken apes years to learn a few hundred symbols/words - a toddler does that at lightning speed compared to apes.
Again, so what? How or why is this so important? Why do you emphasize this? Is your point language?
Humans have a true talking brain, even if some linguistic principles are shared with other species (surprisingly perhaps, more with some song birds than with apes). Bu there are interesting studies on within species communication, for instance, of monkeys in Africa that have "words" for different types of danger (from above or on the ground) but then again, so have chickens.
But recent work suggest that monkeys also may convey the potential of a threat ("I thawed I thaw a puddy tat"); moreover, the nature of the voices tells about sex and dominance, and also which individual. In short, when you ask: Can humans communicate with animals? my answer wouild be yes; and vice versa. But can humans talk (literally) to animals, the answer would be negative.
What is the purpose of language but to communicate? With words, more complex ideology can be passed around ...... Where has that got us?
Animals can communicate with us and we can communicate with them. What'a all this fluff about language?
Can animals communicate with one another? Clearly so, but if vocal, it is mostly single signals (predator! I live here! I am a big male), not complicated concepts. I'll chase up some reading if you like.
Okay. But still, why the need for complicated concepts that only language could construe and convey? Again ... why the emphasis on language? What does it ultimately mean and how does it either affirm or negate consciousness in all species?