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    Dr. Katie Slocombe from York University

    Dr. Katie Slocombe spoke at a recent conference in Holland about the evolution of language. Her previous and current work focusses on chimpanzee vocal communication and, in particular, the extent to which our closest living relatives can use calls to refer to objects and events in the external environment and the psychological mechanisms underlying call production. This behavioural work is conducted with both wild and captive populations of chimpanzees.

    The debate about language seems to be moving fast. Whereas some years ago Chomskys theory of language seemed universal, there is now debate about the relation between gestures and the spoken word, and also about the relative importance of animals or birds in the development of human language.