Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Combinatoriality in the vocal systems of nonhuman animals


Engesser, Sabrina; Townsend, Simon W (2019). Combinatoriality in the vocal systems of nonhuman animals. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 10(4):e1493.

Abstract

A key challenge in the field of human language evolution is the identification of the selective conditions that gave rise to language's generative nature. Comparative data on nonhuman animals provides a powerful tool to investigate similarities and differences among nonhuman and human communication systems and to reveal convergent evolutionary mechanisms. In this article, we provide an overview of the current evidence for combinatorial structures found in the vocal system of diverse species. We show that considerable structural diversity exits across and within species in the forms of combinatorial structures used. Based on this we suggest that a fine‐grained classification and differentiation of combinatoriality is a useful approach permitting systematic comparisons across animals. Specifically, this will help to identify factors that might promote the emergence of combinatoriality and, crucially, whether differences in combinatorial mechanisms might be driven by variations in social and ecological conditions or cognitive capacities.

Abstract

A key challenge in the field of human language evolution is the identification of the selective conditions that gave rise to language's generative nature. Comparative data on nonhuman animals provides a powerful tool to investigate similarities and differences among nonhuman and human communication systems and to reveal convergent evolutionary mechanisms. In this article, we provide an overview of the current evidence for combinatorial structures found in the vocal system of diverse species. We show that considerable structural diversity exits across and within species in the forms of combinatorial structures used. Based on this we suggest that a fine‐grained classification and differentiation of combinatoriality is a useful approach permitting systematic comparisons across animals. Specifically, this will help to identify factors that might promote the emergence of combinatoriality and, crucially, whether differences in combinatorial mechanisms might be driven by variations in social and ecological conditions or cognitive capacities.

Statistics

Citations

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 21 Mar 2019
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:July 2019
Deposited On:21 Mar 2019 11:02
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 20:18
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1939-5078
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1493
PubMed ID:30724476

Download

Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only until 6 February 2020
Size: 423kB
View at publisher
Embargo till: 2020-02-06