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monkey Language


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I have just become aware of a study about the language of a species of monkey in Sierra Leone, the Campbell's monkey (Ceropithecus campbellii.  It seems that this particular monkey actually has a grammar  and words whose meaning can vary from one area to another. They have a limited number of sounds , which they concatenate to form words and sentences to convey specific meanings. ]http://www.scientificamerican.com/http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/22026.fullarticle/monkey-see-monkey-speak-video/] to form words and sentences to convey specific meanings. http://www.scientificamerican.com/http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/22026.fullarticle/monkey-see-monkey-speak-video/

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I apologize for the way the hyperlinks posted above.  The first  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/monkey-see-monkey-speak-video/ is for an article in Scientific American.  The second http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/22026.full is for an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The linguists involved in the study see it as a significant contribution to the understanding of the development of language by humans.  I include all species of humans both extant and extinct.

This still looks wrong.  I don't understand how the hyperlink function works on this forum.

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How interesting. I have read about monkeys who can communicate with humans, using certain signs and noises. I have also read about parrots who have been taught to talk and express their feelings. I have no doubt that we can learn to communicate with all animals, without them having to acquire our language or sign systems.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That is interesting to learn. We have so many similarities with monkeys that it would be awesome if we could have a language that we both understood. The world keeps discovering amazing things as we go along. I enjoyed reading this thread because it shows the unlimited possibilities that are not yet discovered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting, if a tad weird! The thing with monkeys is that they are very intelligent and are very much like humans. I've been around them and they display many human-like behaviour, so this is not at all surprising to me. I doubt they'll ever be able to speak and articulate words like we do, that'd be a bit of a stretch LOL

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It's so interesting, but I have always believed that most species have their own language and can actually communicate with each other the same way we do.  It's just we are not trained to recognize the differences between all those sounds, but I can imagine how interesting would be if humans could actually learn to speak an animal language!  I can only imagine! So fascinating!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh wow, this is very interesting! These monkey's must have a high IQ and seem to be rather emotionally  intelligent too! I had actually never seen research done along this topic! Thanks for the share.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting. I'm surprised it took us this long to have studies on it but I'm sure they have been working on this for decades. I also once came across a few videos of scientists teaching apes sign language and it made them able to communicate with humans on a basic level which I found very interesting, but I think this is much more so because it delves into their native behavior instead of an acquired one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm not surprised by this discovery, because monkeys are very intelligent animals. I think their language is also like our language and it's quite varied because they use many words as compared to dogs and cats that are only limited to a simple "arf" and "meow". If we humans can understand what every word meant through diligent research then it would be great.

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That would definitely be interesting if it were true. You have to remember that scientists can be biased in these experiments because they WANT it to be true. I'm not saying that they falsified data, since I do think all animals have an unique way of communicating so it's entirely possible that they developed a language with proper structure and grammar, but let's not be too quick to jump on board the bandwagon

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Monkeys are very smart creatures. If I'm not mistaken chimpanzees are the smartest animal on the planet. That's truly amazing. They are very adaptable and can learn sign language.

Hopefully, humans are the smartest animals on the planet, but I suspect that some cetaceans may actually be more intelligent than chimps.  Bonobos are probably smarter than chimps.

Some whales are known to recite tales that are comparable in information content to human novels, but we are unable to decipher them (we can use information theory to measure the amount of information ).  Look for "songs of the Humpback Whale".

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That would definitely be interesting if it were true. You have to remember that scientists can be biased in these experiments because they WANT it to be true. I'm not saying that they falsified data, since I do think all animals have an unique way of communicating so it's entirely possible that they developed a language with proper structure and grammar, but let's not be too quick to jump on board the bandwagon

Having read the article, I think that it is clear that this study was not based on a rationalistic but rather an empirical approach.  If you don't understand the difference, rationalism is based of pre-conceived a priori concepts, wheras empiricism relies on testing the a prioriconcepts against reality.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Animals are fascinating creatures and I really do think the can start to pick up on human language if they are around humans enough. It may sound silly but I had a cat growing up that actually learned to pronounce the word "out" when she wanted to go outside. It was quite distinctive to the point where she pronounced the T sound. She would stand by the door and chant it over and over again.

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