Grammar of Tools

New Caledonian crow with tool.

One theory about the co-evolution of language and culture - particularly material culture - is that they share a "grammar of action". While humans are considered to have the most complex tool cultures and languages of any animal, there are other species whose tool cultures also have the potential for action grammars.

This project documents: 1) the grammatical structure of tool behaviours in New Caledonian crows, and 2) the communication of New Caledonian crows. This will allow: 3) comparison with the action grammars and linguistic structures of other tool-using animals such as chimpanzees, sea otters, and humans past and present.

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