Chimps Learn the Local Language

78778624When humans move to a new place, they oftentimes learn the local way of speaking, whether picking up some of the local language or just learning new vocabulary within the same language — think of a Londoner moving to California and calling the trunk of a car the boot or the hood of a car the bonnet. Ever since Saussurrean semiotics, it’s a common theory that words are arbitrary, and that whether you call it an apple, or a manzana or a pomme, these arbitrary words all refer to the same fruit. Humans adapt their language to be understood. However, a new study out in Current Biology suggests that we’re not the only ones. Chimpanzees also adapt their language when they move to a new place.

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