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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Possible Precursors of Syntactic Components in Other Species

  • Author(s): White, SA
  • Hilliard, HT
  • Editor(s): Bickerton, D
  • Szathmary, E
  • et al.

Language is a uniquely human phenotype. One might thus view language as a wholesale innovation and thereby limit inquiry into its evolutionary and neurobiological basis to noninvasive techniques. Alternatively, one may consider that other species possess subcomponents of language and that a comparative approach opens the door to controlled experimental investigations into the molecular, cellular and synaptic basis of vocal learning, a key subcomponent of language.

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