Salience and Symmetry-Breaking in the Evolution of Convention

Law and Philosophy 17 (4):411 - 418 (1998)
Abstract
Since monkeys certainly understand much that is said to them by man, and when wild, utter signal-cries of danger to their fellows; and since fowls give distinct warnings for danger on the ground, or in the sky from hawks (both, as well, a third cry, intelligible to dogs), may not some unusually wise ape-like animal have imitated the growl of a beast of prey, and thus told his fellow-monkeys the nature of the expected danger? This would have been the first step in the formation of a language.
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