|A gelada baboon in Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. |
Photo by A. Davey via Flickr.
If bigfoots can in fact speak to each other using language, or perhaps some proto-language, then many interesting questions arise. These questions concern evolution, vocabulary, and even morphology that could give rise to speech. For example, does bipedalism somehow contribute to the brain or throat structure in some way that helps enable language?
Due to my interest in the possibility that bigfoots are talking to each other, I keep my eyes open for language ability in primates. I was recently sent this article about sounds made by a species of baboon. These sounds contain patterns and "wobbles" that closely resemble human speech. Please keep in mind, this is not evidence of language use by baboons. It only shows a similarity between the sounds the baboons make and the sounds we make. To quote the article:
"What it's showing is this possibility for rhythmic expression and vocal output," Ghazanfar said. "This possibility exists and geladas have exploited it. But it doesn't show a direct relationship between what we can do and what geladas can do."
Babbling Sounds of Monkeys Share Rhythms with Human Speech
BY: JENNY MARDER
Scientists studying the evolution of speech have long puzzled over why there are no good models in primates. While primates share many traits with humans -- they've been known to play, grieve, fight, even laugh -- speech isn't one of them.
With one possible exception. A group of wild monkeys from the Ethiopian highlands called geladas, which are closely related to baboons, make gutteral babbling noises that sound eerily human-like. And they do it while smacking their lips together. The combination of lip smacking and vocal sounds is called a "wobble." A study in this week's issue of the journal Current Biology analyzed the rhythm of the wobble and found that it closely matched that of human speech.
Click here to read the rest of the article.