Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




ABOUT US
Rare primate's vocal lip-smacks share features of human speech
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Apr 09, 2013


The vocal lip-smacks that geladas use in friendly encounters have surprising similarities to human speech, according to a study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 8th. The geladas, which live only in the remote mountains of Ethiopia, are the only nonhuman primate known to communicate with such a speech-like, undulating rhythm. Calls of other monkeys and apes are typically one or two syllables and lack those rapid fluctuations in pitch and volume. Credit: Current Biology, Bergman. Watch video of the geladas here.

The vocal lip-smacks that geladas use in friendly encounters have surprising similarities to human speech, according to a study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 8th. The geladas, which live only in the remote mountains of Ethiopia, are the only nonhuman primate known to communicate with such a speech-like, undulating rhythm. Calls of other monkeys and apes are typically one or two syllables and lack those rapid fluctuations in pitch and volume.

This new evidence lends support to the idea that lip-smacking, a behavior that many primates show during amiable interactions, could have been an evolutionary step toward human speech.

"Our finding provides support for the lip-smacking origins of speech because it shows that this evolutionary pathway is at least plausible," said Thore Bergman of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "It demonstrates that nonhuman primates can vocalize while lip-smacking to produce speech-like sounds."

Bergman first began to wonder about the geladas' sounds when he began his fieldwork in 2006. "I would find myself frequently looking over my shoulder to see who was talking to me, but it was just the geladas," he recalled. "It was unnerving to have primate vocalizations sound so much like human voices."

That was something that he had never experienced in the company of other primates. Then Bergman came across a paper in Current Biology last year proposing vocalization while lip-smacking as a possible first step to human speech, and something clicked.

Bergman has now analyzed recordings of the geladas' vocalizations, known as "wobbles," to find a rhythm that closely matches human speech. In other words, because they vocalize while lip-smacking, the pattern of sound produced is structurally similar to human speech.

In both lip-smacking and speech, the rhythm corresponds to the opening and closing of parts of the mouth. What's more, Bergman said, lip-smacking might serve the same purpose as language in many basic human interactions-think of how friends bond through small talk.

"Language is not just a great tool for exchanging information; it has a social function," Bergman said. "Many verbal exchanges appear to serve a function similar to lip-smacking."

Current Biology, Bergman: "Speech-like vocalized lipsmacking in geladas"

.


Related Links
Cell Press
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ABOUT US
Women and men perform the same in math
Baltimore (UPI) Apr 7, 2013
Girls and boys earn similar grades in math and science, but Asian-American students of both genders outperform all others, U.S. researchers say. Nicole M. Else-Quest of the University of Maryland, Concetta Mineo of the Pennsylvania State University and Ashley Higgins of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine studied 367 white, African-American, Latino/Latina and Asian-American ... read more


ABOUT US
Fukushima fuel cooling system stops again:TEPCO

Environmental policies matter for growing megacities

Finland's Fennovoima in talks with Rosatom over reactor

US drivers talk and text as much as ever

ABOUT US
What's between a slip and a slide?

Light may recast copper as chemical industry 'holy grail'

New camera system creates high-resolution 3-D images from up to a kilometer away

Theory and practice key to optimized broadband, low-loss optical metamaterials

ABOUT US
Dead fish cause for concern in China river

Chinese fishing boat runs aground in Philippines

Temperature difference between hemispheres could shift rainfall patterns

Chinese foreign fisheries catch 12 times more than reported

ABOUT US
Byrd Came Oh-So-Close, But Probably Didn't Reach North Pole

Discovery of 1,800-year-old 'Rosetta Stone' for tropical ice cores

New models predict drastically greener Arctic in coming decades

Ice cores preserve 1,800 years of climate

ABOUT US
Land degradation causes up to 5% loss in farm output

China bird flu outbreak 'devastating' poultry sales

Pandas vs pinot as vineyards adjust to warming

China bird flu outbreak spurs food safety fears

ABOUT US
Strong quake near Iran nuclear plant kills 30

Argentina floods caused $5 billion in damage

Italy marks fourth anniversary of L'Aquila quake

7.1-magnitude quake causes panic in Indonesia's Papua

ABOUT US
Obama takes first step to selling arms to Somalia

Jailed Sudan coup officers seek Bashir's amnesty

Thousands in Darfur seek protection after fighting

Congolese pygmy seeks to enlighten his kin

ABOUT US
Rare primate's vocal lip-smacks share features of human speech

Women and men perform the same in math

Scientists identify brain's 'molecular memory switch'

Researchers successfully map fountain of youth




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement