The primary goal of the SEGVOC project is to explore the level of the segment in non-human animals. Because segment research is central to our understanding of human language, any comparative claims about the uniqueness of humans must, at least, consider this unit level in non-humans. Because segments have been largely ignored in animal acoustic communication, the SEGVOC project has great potential for novel research insights and projects. Within this project, the vocalizations of multiple species will be analyzed in order to assess how well segmental models fit animal communication systems. We will also delve deeper into the vocalizations of the budgerigar – a species where we have already fit a segmental model – in order to assess how much explanatory power we have gained and to address questions related to non-human animal phonology (the rules, patterns, production, and perception of segments).
ERC Marie Curie