Budgerigars can tell us about vocal communication
Budgerigars are highly social parrots with a complex, learned vocal repertoire. As with other parrots, this species is also well known as a vocal mimic. The EU-funded SEGVOC project will study the non-stereotyped vocalisations of budgerigars. The findings will build on research comparing human and non-human animal communication that has left vocal behaviour unexplored. For instance, in non-human animal vocal behaviour, the smallest unit of analysis is the syllable or breath group, where intakes of breath divide the acoustic stream. Humans, however, can utter full words, phrases and even sentences between intervals of silence. The project will develop methods and experimental protocols to study the production and perception of non-human vocal segments.