May 3rd, 2014, 11:15 – 12:00
Using the classic case of vervet monkey alarm calls as an example, I will argue that the vocal production of nonhuman primates bears little resemblance to the symbolic and combinatorial features of human speech. However, evidence is accumulating that listeners are able to integrate information from multiple sources, including signal and context.
“Primate pragmatics” is emerging as a fruitful avenue into the cognitive mechanisms underpinning communication, specifically with regard to meaning attribution and decision-making.
Julia Fischer, Cognitive Ethology Lab, German Primate Center