Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robert Seyfarth: Can Monkeys Talk? - RDF TV

Robert Seyfarth describes how monkey calls used by Vervet Monkeys might be precursors to language.

To read more about language in monkeys (and chimps), see the NY Times article: "Deciphering the chatter of monkeys and chimps"

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  1. Pretty interesting.  I have read and seen documentaries about how bird calls act very similar to what was talked about in the video.  Also with birds, it looks like these calls are at times cross-species.   There's basic info on the wikipedia page dealing with it.  A good series about birds is 'The Life of Birds' but I can't remember what it comes dealing with calls.  I do know that the latest Ornithology textbooks cover it though.
    ~Will Fuqua


  2. Pfft, lame. Let me know when they start worshippnig Jebus to Slayer. :-D

  3. This is fascinating, but by his own definition at the beginning, this is not a voluntary language. I would be interested to know if there are verbalizations that are not in response to a predator.

    For sure, what he describes is a prerequisite for language.