What do monkey calls mean?
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A field of primate linguistics is gradually emerging. It combines general questions and tools from theoretical linguistics with rich data gathered in experimental primatology. Analyses of several monkey systems have uncovered very simple morphological and syntactic rules, and they have led to the development of a primate semantics which asks new questions about the division of semantic labor between the literal meaning of monkey calls, additional mechanisms of pragmatic enrichment, and the environmental context. We show that comparative studies across species may validate this program, and may in some cases help reconstruct the evolution of monkey communication over millions of years.
Schlenker , P , Chemla , E & Zuberbühler , K 2016 , ' What do monkey calls mean? ' Trends in Cognitive Sciences , vol 20 , no. 12 , pp. 894-904 . DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2016.10.004
Trends in Cognitive Sciences
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2016.10.004
Grant acknowledgements: Chemla and Schlenker: Research by Schlenker and Chemla was conducted at Institut d’Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure – PSL Research University. Institut d’Etudes Cognitives is supported by grants ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC et ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL. Schlenker: The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Coucil under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007- 2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n°324115-FRONTSEM (PI:Schlenker). Zuberbühler: The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Council under ERC grant ‘Prilang 283871’ and also from the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant ‘FN 310030_143359/1’. The project also benefited from the support of the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire and Taï Monkey Project.
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