Philippe Schlenker, Emmanuel Chemla, Kate Arnold, Alban Lemasson, Karim Ouattara, Sumir Keenan, Claudia Stephan, Robin Ryder & Klaus Zuberbühler
Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (6):439-501 (2014)
AbstractWe develop a formal semantic analysis of the alarm calls used by Campbell’s monkeys in the Tai forest and on Tiwai island —two sites that differ in the main predators that the monkeys are exposed to. Building on data discussed in Ouattara et al. :e7808, 2009a; PNAS 106: 22026–22031, 2009b and Arnold et al., we argue that on both sites alarm calls include the roots krak and hok, which can optionally be affixed with -oo, a kind of attenuating suffix; in addition, sentences can start with boom boom, which indicates that the context is not one of predation. In line with Arnold et al., we show that the meaning of the roots is not quite the same in Tai and on Tiwai: krak often functions as a leopard alarm call in Tai, but as a general alarm call on Tiwai. We develop models based on a compositional semantics in which concatenation is interpreted as conjunction, roots have lexical meanings, -oo is an attenuating suffix, and an all-purpose alarm parameter is raised with each individual call. The first model accounts for the difference between Tai and Tiwai by way of different lexical entries for krak. The second model gives the same underspecified entry to krak in both locations, but it makes use of a competition mechanism akin to scalar implicatures. In Tai, strengthening yields a meaning equivalent to non-aerial dangerous predator and turns out to single out leopards. On Tiwai, strengthening yields a nearly contradictory meaning due to the absence of ground predators, and only the unstrengthened meaning is used
Similar books and articles
Alarm calls-Evolutionary and cognitive mechanisms.K. Zuberbühler - 2006 - In Keith Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 2--143.
Vocalize to localize: A test on functionally referential alarm calls.Marta B. Manser & Lindsay B. Fletcher - 2005 - Interaction Studies 5 (3):327-344.
Aspects of human language: Where motherese?Emmanuel Gilissen - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):514-514.
Primate Language and the Playback Experiment, in 1890 and 1980.Gregory Radick - 2005 - Journal of the History of Biology 38 (3):461-493.
Animal communication and neo-expressivism.Andrew McAninch, Grant Goodrich & Colin Allen - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 128--144.
Papez dreams: Mechanism and phenomenology of dreaming.E. E. Krieckhaus - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):961-962.
Sufficient for alarm.H. Kolansky & W. Moore - 1978 - In John Paul Brady & H. Keith H. Brodie (eds.), Controversy in Psychiatry. Saunders.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
How to do things with nonwords: pragmatics, biosemantics, and origins of language in animal communication.Dorit Bar-On - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-25.
Compositional Signaling in a Complex World.Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2016 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 25 (3-4):379-397.
The precedence of syntax in the rapid emergence of human language in evolution as defined by the integration hypothesis.Vitor A. Nã³Brega & Shigeru Miyagawa - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
Labels, cognomes, and cyclic computation: an ethological perspective.Elliot Murphy - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
References found in this work
How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species.Dorothy L. Cheney & Robert M. Seyfarth - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.
The Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures and the Relationship between Semantics and Pragmatics.Gennaro Chierchia & Danny Fox - unknown