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Syllable Phonology and Song Segmentation: Testing Their Salience in Female Canaries

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By stimulating female common domesticated canaries with computer edited song stimuli, we investigated the salience of own breed phonology or song segmentation. These own breed acoustic parameters versus alien breed's and heterospecific ones were tested using copulation solicitation displays as an index of female responses. We found that females gain information about their own breed identity from both phonology and song segmentation. Border strain syllables or segmentation ensure high levels of responses, similar to those elicited by own breed ones. By contrast, harzer strain, wild canary and greenfinch phonology or segmentation elicited low levels of displays. The weaker reactions were recorded to harzer phonology. Processes involved in female recognition of multipartite songs are discussed and compared to those used by male oscines.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire d'Ethologie et Sociobiologie, C.N.R.S. U.R.A. 667 Université Paris Nord, 93430 Villetaneuse, France; 2: Laboratoire d'Ethologie, C.N.R.S. U.R.A. 373 Univer-sité de Rennes, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France

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