Cracking the Meaning of Monkey Calls

It has long been known that monkeys convey information through alarm calls, but now a combined team of linguists and primatologists has laid the groundwork for a systematic 'primate linguistics.' In a series of five articles published in multiple linguistics journals, the authors have brought the general methods of contemporary linguistics to bear on monkey morphology (pertaining to the structure of calls), syntax (how the calls are put together into sequences), and semantics (what calls and call sequences mean), building on several earlier studies conducted within primatology.

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