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The Evolutionary Emergence of LanguageEvidence and Inference$
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Rudolf Botha and Martin Everaert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654840.001.0001

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Exploring the gaps between primate calls and human language

Exploring the gaps between primate calls and human language

(p.181) 10 Exploring the gaps between primate calls and human language
The Evolutionary Emergence of Language

Alban Lemasson

Karim Ouattara

Klaus Zuberbühler

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies a number of parallels between properties of human language and the vocalizations used in primate communication. By pinpointing these parallels, it aims to counter the currently widely held view that primate vocal behaviour is irrelevant for theories of language evolution. The chapter first reviews recent studies on primate vocal behaviour which are relevant to questions of signal flexibility and control. Next, it considers the evidence across the primate order which may bear on key language properties that are not related to acoustic plasticity.

Keywords:   language evolution, vocalization, primate communication, vocal behaviour

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