Vocal Exchange of Coo Calls in Japanese Macaques

  • Hideki Sugiura


The vocal exchange of contact calls in nonhuman primates (e.g., Snowdon and Cleveland 1984; Biben et al. 1986; Masataka and Biben 1987) may be the most similar form of communication to our own conversation. Vocal exchange can be expressed as a communication form in which a sender gives vocalization as an addressing signal and a respondent also gives vocalization as a response. Furthermore, responding vocalization can act as another addressing signal, which elicits further vocal response. Such vocal-vocal communication systems also appear in duetting (e.g., Farabaugh 1982; Cowlishaw 1992) and counter singing (e.g., Tenaza 1976; Maples et al. 1988). In duetting, typically a pair of male and female sing a song alternately or simultaneously. In counter singing, typically a territorial animal sings a song against a rival’s song. Among these, vocal exchange seems to be the most similar to human conversation, because it occurs among group members in affiliative contexts. As (1996) argued, normal conversation may have played an important roll in the evolution of human language. Thus, it should be interesting to try to discover whether vocal communication parallels our own conversation.


Acoustic Feature Japanese Macaque Vocal Response Playback Experiment Response Call 
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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideki Sugiura
    • 1
  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyama, AichiJapan

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