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Animal calls show resemblance to human language

By Shruti Saxena | Last Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 09:44

Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena

New Delhi: If you believe speech perception is a uniquely human trait, think again! A new study suggests that many animals make sounds similar to human speech.

The findings of the study lists that animals produce apparently complex sounds. They can even understand synthetic speech that is in the form of whistle-like tones.
After studying the voices of different species ranging from whales, wolves, frogs to birds, the scholars found that animals produce speech through a similar process as humans do. Indeed, the findings also suggest that there may be a missing link in the evolutionary path from animal language to human language.
So far, experts have suggested that the voices produced by animals is generated by `Markov` vocalisations, which involve a particular set sequence. While human beings communicate following `context-free grammars` rules.

So, the researchers concluded that animal calls resemble more language-like structure than previously considered.

First Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 09:44

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