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Department of Comparative Language Science Comparative Communication and Cognition Group

Representative Publications

Schamberg, I., Clay, Z., Townsend, S. W., & Surbeck, M. (2023). Between-group variation in production of pant-grunt vocalizations by wild bonobos (Pan paniscus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 77(1), 14.

Lahiff, N. J., Slocombe, K. E., Taglialatela, J., Dellwo, V., & Townsend, S. W. (2022). Degraded and computer-generated speech processing in a bonobo. Animal Cognition, 25(6), 1393-1398.

Wilke, C., Lahiff, N. J., Sabbi, K. H., Watts, D. P., Townsend, S. W., & Slocombe, K. E. (2022). Declarative referential gesturing in a wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(47), e2206486119.

Spiess, S., Mylne, H. K., Engesser, S., Mine, J. G., O’Neill, L. G., Russell, A. F., & Townsend, S. W. (2022). Syntax-like Structures in Maternal Contact Calls of Chestnut-Crowned Babblers (Pomatostomus ruficeps). International Journal of Primatology, 1-20.

Jorgewich-Cohen, G., Townsend, S. W., Padovese, L. R., Klein, N., Praschag, P., Ferrara, C. R., ... & Sánchez-Villagra, M. R. (2022). Common evolutionary origin of acoustic communication in choanate vertebrates. Nature Communications, 13(1), 6089.

Bosshard, A. B., Leroux, M., Lester, N. A., Bickel, B., Stoll, S., & Townsend, S. W. (2022). From collocations to call-ocations: using linguistic methods to quantify animal call combinations. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 76(9), 122.

Leroux, M., Chandia, B., Bosshard, A. B., Zuberbühler, K., & Townsend, S. W. (2022). Call combinations in chimpanzees: a social tool?. Behavioral Ecology, 33(5), 1036-1043.

Mine, J. G., Slocombe, K. E., Willems, E. P., Gilby, I. C., Yu, M., Thompson, M. E., Townsend, S.W. & Machanda, Z. P. (2022).Vocal signals facilitate cooperative hunting in wild chimpanzees. Science advances, 8(30), eabo5553.

Leroux, M., Bosshard, A. B., Chandia, B., Manser, A., Zuberbühler, K. & Townsend, S. W. (2021). Chimpanzees combine pant hoots with food calls into larger structures. Animal Behaviour, 179, 41-50.

Leroux, M. & Townsend, S.W. (2020). Call combinations in great apes and the evolution of syntax. Animal Behaviour and Cognition.

Engesser, S., Holub, J.L., O'Neill, L.G., Russell, A.F. & Townsend, S.W. (2019) Chestnut-crowned babbler calls are composed of meaningless shared building blocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 119(39)19579-19584.

Townsend, S.W., Engesser, S., Stoll, S., Zuberbühler, K. & Bickel, B. (2018). Compositionality in animals and humans. PLoS Biology 16(8):e2006425.

Collier, K, Townsend, S.W. & Manser M.B. Call concatenation in wild meerkats (2017). Animal Behaviour. 

Engesser, S., Ridley, A. & Townsend, S.W. (2016). Meaningful call combinations and compositional processing in the Southern Pied Babbler. PNAS, 113, 5976-5981. 

Engesser, S., Crane, M.S., Savage, J.L., Russell, A.F. & Townsend, S.W. (2015). Experimental evidence for phoneme structure in the vocal system of a non-human. PLoS Biology 13(6): e1002171. 

Borgeaud, C., Alvino, M., van Leeuwen, K., Townsend, S.W. & Bshary, R. (2015). Age and sex differences in third-party rank relationship knowledge in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops pygerythrus). Animal Behaviour 102, 277-284. 

Watson, S., Townsend, S.W., Schel, A.M., Wilke, C., Wallace, E. Cheng, L., West, V. & Slocombe, K.E. (2015). Vocal Learning in the Functionally Referential Food Grunts of Chimpanzees. Current Biology 25, 1-5. 

Townsend, S.W., Charlton, B.D. & Manser, M.B. (2014). Formant cues to identity and predator context in the barks of meerkats. Animal Behaviour 95, 143-149. 

Schel, A. M., Machanda, Z., Townsend, S.W., Zuberbuhler, K. & Slocombe, K.E. (2013). Chimpanzee food calls are directed at specific individuals. Animal Behaviour 85, 955-966. 

Mazzini, F.*, Townsend, S.W.*, Viranye, Z. & Range, F. (2013). Wolf howling is mediated by relationship quality rather than underlying emotional stress. Current Biology 23, 1677–1680.