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Researchers claim to have deciphered the way primates communicate

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posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 06:20 AM
This is the first time that a monkey is seen using the same type of communications as the humans when it comes to speech and sounds. The monkeys can use prefixes and sufixes and this language is understood by the entire group.

This language development process may have started from the chatter of these monkeys. And it may lead us to discover how language was developed in humans.

And the jungle monkeys may have a language of their own but other animals too may have a language of their own. So in the future how will human speech evolve and what kind of communication would we use in our speech?

The secret behind the origins of human language may lie in the jungle chatter of a species of monkey, a team of scientists has claimed.

The researchers spent months studying the calls of the Campbell's monkey, or Cercopithecus campbelli, which lives in the forests of the Tai National Park in the Ivory Coast. They discovered that the animals not only use distinctive alarm calls to warn of specific predators nearby but can also combine them with other sounds to convey extra information – in much the same way humans use prefixes and suffixes.

The animals used several instantly recognisable alarm sounds, which the scientists described as "boom", "krak" and "hok". A boom was sounded to warn of a falling branch nearby; a krak was only sounded when a leopard had been seen; and a hok was almost exclusively reserved for when a crowned eagle was spotted above the forest canopy.

But further analysis revealed that while booms were unaltered, the monkeys occasionally added an "oo" to kraks and hoks, an alteration which appeared to change what their message.

"If you add this subtle additional oo unit to turn krak into krak-oo, then that call can be given to a whole range of other contexts. If you take the suffix away then it is almost exclusively a leopard alarm call," Professor Zuberbühler said. "What is interesting is that the same acoustic modifier is being used for these calls, and that is really analogous to using a suffix in human language."

"Simian speech: A brief dictionary

*"Boom" Look out, falling branch, move!

*"Boom-boom" Come to me

*"Krak" Look out, a leopard!

*"Krak-oo" Watch out, a general warning

*"Hok" There's a crowned eagle up there

*"Hok-oo" Movement above

*"Boom-boom, krak-oo krak-oo" Look out – falling tree

*"Boom-boom, hok-oo krak-oo hok-oo" We are near another group of monkeys "


[edit on 13-12-2009 by sunny_2008ny]

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 07:11 AM
reply to post by sunny_2008ny

Is this serious?

if so, i'm going to the zoo and try it on the monkeys

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 10:06 AM
orangutans have used leaves to change the sound of their warning cry. First time a non human has used a device (tool) to change its vocals.

Also good find on how primates and monkeys (I think) use some form of grammar in their communication.

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