Birdsong neurolinguistics: songbird context-free grammar claim is premature

@article{Beckers2012BirdsongNS,
  title={Birdsong neurolinguistics: songbird context-free grammar claim is premature},
  author={G. Beckers and J. Bolhuis and K. Okanoya and R. Berwick},
  journal={NeuroReport},
  year={2012},
  volume={23},
  pages={139–145}
}
There are remarkable behavioral, neural, and genetic similarities between song learning in songbirds and speech acquisition in human infants. Previously, we have argued that this parallel cannot be extended to the level of sentence syntax. Although birdsong can indeed have a complex structure, it lacks the combinatorial complexity of human language syntax. Recently, this conclusion has been challenged by a report purporting to show that songbirds can learn so-called context-free syntactic rules… Expand
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