Vol 7, Issue 2, May 2020

Vocal Communication in Nonhuman Animals: View from the Wings


Pepperberg, I. M. (2020). Vocal communication in nonhuman animals: View from the wings. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 7(2), 95-100. doi: https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.


Forty years ago, Seyfarth, Cheney, and Marler published two papers claiming semanticity for wild vervet monkey alarms calls. The papers arrived at an extremely interesting and active time in the study of animal behavior—a period during which researchers, working both in the laboratory and the field, were trying to learn as much as possible about many forms of nonhuman communication systems, were trying to teach nonhuman subjects aspects of human systems, were delving into many aspects of language evolution, and were engaging in heated debates on all these topics. Having been actively engaged in this area at the time, I present a brief memoir of the period.


Dorothy Cheney, Animal communication, Personal memoir, Vervet monkey, Birdsong