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. 2006 May 18;441(7091):303.
doi: 10.1038/441303a.

Language Evolution: Semantic Combinations in Primate Calls

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Language Evolution: Semantic Combinations in Primate Calls

Kate Arnold et al. Nature. .

Abstract

Syntax sets human language apart from other natural communication systems, although its evolutionary origins are obscure. Here we show that free-ranging putty-nosed monkeys combine two vocalizations into different call sequences that are linked to specific external events, such as the presence of a predator and the imminent movement of the group. Our findings indicate that non-human primates can combine calls into higher-order sequences that have a particular meaning.

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