Pulse register phonation in Diana monkey alarm calls.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The adult male Diana monkeys (Cercopithecus diana) produce predator-specific alarm calls in response to two of their predators, the crowned eagles and the leopards. The acoustic structure of these alarm calls is remarkable for a number of theoretical and empirical reasons. First, although pulsed phonation has been described in a variety of mammalian vocalizations, very little is known about the underlying production mechanism. Second, Diana monkey alarm calls are based almost exclusively on this vocal production mechanism to an extent that has never been documented in mammalian vocal behavior. Finally, the Diana monkeys' pulsed phonation strongly resembles the pulse register in human speech, where fundamental frequency is mainly controlled by subglottal pressure. Here, we report the results of a detailed acoustic analysis to investigate the production mechanism of Diana monkey alarm calls. Within calls, we found a positive correlation between the fundamental frequency and the pulse amplitude, suggesting that both humans and monkeys control fundamental frequency by subglottal pressure. While in humans pulsed phonation is usually considered pathological or artificial, male Diana monkeys rely exclusively on pulsed phonation, suggesting a functional adaptation. Moreover, we were unable to document any nonlinear phenomena, despite the fact that they occur frequently in the vocal repertoire of humans and nonhumans, further suggesting that the very robust Diana monkey pulse production mechanism has evolved for a particular functional purpose. We discuss the implications of these findings for the structural evolution of Diana monkey alarm calls and suggest that the restricted variability in fundamental frequency and robustness of the source signal gave rise to the formant patterns,observed in Diana monkey alarm calls, used to convey predator information. (C) 2003 Acoustical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2919-2926
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • VOCAL FOLD OSCILLATIONS
  • NONMODAL PHONATION
  • LOUD CALLS
  • BIPHONATION
  • DISORDERS
  • FREQUENCY
  • PREDATORS
  • FEATURES
  • SOUNDS
  • MODEL

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Pulse register phonation in Diana monkey alarm calls.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this