In collaboration with Klaus Zuberbühler's and Alban Lemasson's primatology teams, we have been analyzing raw data pertaining to monkey vocalizations, with the goal of offering formal and predictive analyses of their syntax and/or semantics and pragmatics.
Our first paper on this topic is devoted to a detailed semantic and pragmatic analysis of male Campbell's monkey alarm calls; it can be found below.

We are currently working on the following topics

Analysis of the semantics and pragmatics of male Campbell's alarm calls [data from Ouattara et al., Arnold et al., Keenan et al.; see below]


Analysis of  the syntax and semantics of Putty-nosed and Blue monkey calls [Schlenker, Chemla, Gautier, Ryder, Schel; data from Arnold, Zuberbühler, Murphy, Papworth]


Analysis of the syntax and semantics of Black-and-White Colobus monkey calls [Schlenker, Schel, Chemla; data from Schel et al.]


Analysis of the syntax and semantics Titi monkey calls [Schlenker, Chemla, Schel; data from Cäsar et al.]


Comparative and evolutionary study of Cercopitheci calls [Schlenker, Chemla, Schel, Gautier, Ryder]


Pyow-hack sequences in Putty-nosed vs. Blue monkeys

Call categorization and comparison [Chemla, Ravaux]

Links and Publications



Monkey Semantics: two 'Dialects' of Monkey Alarm Calls' (Henry Sweet lecture, Linguistic Association of Great Britain, August 2013; specialized talk intended for an audience of linguists. A link to the corresponding paper can be found below)






Schlenker, Philippe; Chemla, Emmanuel; Arnold, Kate; Lemasson, Alban; Ouattara, Karim; Keenan, Sumir; Stephan, Claudia; Ryder, Robin; and Zuberbühler, Klaus: 2013, Monkey Semantics: Two 'Dialects' of Campbell's Monkey Alarm Calls. Preliminary draft LingBuzz. Accepted for publication with minor revisions in Linguistics & Philosophy.




Permanent Members

Interests and responsibilities within LINGUAE

 Emmanuel Chemla

Chargé de Recherche, LSCP, CNRS;  Associate member of Institut

Jean-Nicod, CNRS; Starting Grant Project Leader, ERC

Psycholinguistics, semantics, pragmatics, logic, music cognition, sign language, primate vocalizations

Director of psycholinguistic research (and Head of the LSCP Language group)

Carlo Geraci

Chargé de Recherche, Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS

Sign language (LIS and LSF), syntax, psycholinguistics. Primate gestures

Director of sign language research

Philippe Schlenker

Directeur de Recherche, Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS; Global Distinguished

Professor, New York University; Advanced Grant Project Leader, ERC

Semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language,   
philosophical logic, sign language (ASL and LSF), music cognition, primate calls

Director of LINGUAE; Coordinator of     


Research Coordinator

Interests within LINGUAE

Lucie Ravaux

Ingénieur d'Etudes, Institut Jean-Nicod (FRONTSEM Project, ERC)

Primate linguistics
Research Coordinator

Postdocs and Students

Interests within LINGUAE

 Mélissa Berthet


 Primatology, primate communication
 Jeremy Kuhn


 Semantics, phonology, sign language. Phonetics of the suffix -oo in Campbell's monkeys.


Interests within LINGUAE

Regular Collaborators

Interests within LINGUAE

  Guillaume Dezecache
 Primate cognition, social cognition

Jean-Pierre Gautier

Senior Scientist Emeritus at CNRS

Primate calls, primate phylogeny

Robin Ryder

Assistant Professor, CEPREMADE, U. Paris-Dauphine

Statistics, evolution of languages, primate linguistics

Brent Strickland

Postdoc, Perception Group, Institut Jean-Nicod;   regular collaborator of LINGUAE

Core cognition, experimental semantics and pragmatics, primate vs. Human Cognition