Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 3, 2022

Comparing bird language with human speech, scientists reveal parallels

Knowable Magazine compares human speech and bird languages

In the cheeps, trills and tweets of birdsong, scientists find some parallels with human speech

Human language is made possible by an impressive aptitude for vocal learning. Infants hear sounds and words, form memories of them, and later try to produce those sounds, improving as they grow up. Most animals cannot learn to imitate sounds at all. Though nonhuman primates can learn how to use innate vocalizations in new ways, they don’t show a similar ability to learn new calls. Interestingly, a small number of more distant mammal species, including dolphins and bats, do have this capacity. But among the scattering of nonhuman vocal learners across the branches of the bush of life, the most impressive are birds — hands (wings?) down.

Read article at  Comparing bird language with human speech, scientists reveal parallels


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