These 'Babbler' Birds Could Shed Light on Human Language

June 30, 2015 | Los Angeles Times

Scientists studying babblers say the birds' ability to rearrange sounds during their calls to convey messages might lead to understanding how the phonemic system of human language formed. "To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that animals have the basic capacity to use phoneme-like contrasts to derive qualitatively new meaning, a basic component of phoneme structuring," the study's authors wrote.

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