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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monkey See Grammar, Monkey Do Grammar

Studies on monkeys have revealed clues about the evolution of language.

In the journal Biology Letters, researchers said that cotton-top tamarins are able to spot if the order of syllables in a word is "wrong".

They familiarised the monkeys with two-syllable terms, and recorded their reaction to words that were not consistent with that syllable pattern.

The team says the work illustrates how many animals use patterns that have become intrinsic to human language.

And this provides evidence of the "non-lingual" origin of certain aspects of language, the group told BBC News.

link: BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Monkeys recognise 'bad grammar'


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