It’s no secret that primates communicate with each other. Their various chants have been known to researchers for decades. Some mean joy, others mean danger, and some have “found food.” Previous studies know this Chimpanzees sometimes combine sounds into sequencesAs we are words in sentences.
But no one bothered to carefully classify the votes. This has now been done by researchers from the German Max Planck Institutes: Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) and Cognitive Science and Brain Research (MPI-CBS) in Leipzig with colleagues from the French Institute for Cognitive Sciences in Lyon.
They recorded thousands of sounds for up to 5,000 chimpanzees living in Tay National Park in Côte d’Ivoire. They found that the different types of monkeys’ sounds (screams, shrieks, grunts, gasps, grunts, 12 different in total) Form no less than 390 different combinations.
Man is the only animal that can speak a complex language. Its efficiency is determined not by the number of sounds (there are about thirty sounds in most languages), but by the fact that We can combine different sounds into words with different meanings, And words in sentences.
As it turns out, chimpanzees do this too, albeit less efficiently than humans. The researchers counted about 38 “chimpanzee speech” sounds. Monkeys rarely combine them, and use only 12 of them, however, their combinations give up to several hundred, or as many as 390, different connections.
all of these 390 sound sequences have a different meaning in “chimpanzee language”. There are rules for communication, too (some sounds can coexist, others don’t, and the order of sounds matters). This is somewhat reminiscent of the rules of human grammar.
The researchers admit that there could be more strings of sentences. They have a limited amount of memory for recording chimpanzee sounds.
This is an important study that makes us look at our closest relatives differently. Their communication is richer than we thought. The results can also help you find out The mystery of the origin of human language. Because we still know surprisingly little about how to create it.
“This is only the first part of a larger project,” explains Catherine Crockford, one of the authors of a research paper in Communication Biology. So there is an opportunity for us to get to know the chimpanzee language better.
This is proven by research published in Current Biology in February of this year Chimpanzees heal other members flocks by placing insects on their wounds. Researchers say this is a symptom of altruism – another trait we consider a human habit.
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