Why don't chimps talk and humans sing like canaries?

Sverker Johansson, Jordan Zlatev, Peter Gärdenfors

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorial


We focus on two problems with the evolutionary scenario proposed: (1) It bypasses the question of the origins of the communicative and semiotic features that make language distinct from, say, pleasant but meaningless sounds. (2) It does little to explain the absence of language in, for example, chimpanzees: Most of the selection pressures invoked apply just as strongly to chimps. We suggest how these problems could possibly be amended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-288
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Learning
  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


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