If you could change the way a monkey or an ape’s brain is wired, that animal would be capable of producing perfectly intelligible speech.

That’s the conclusion of a study that closely tracked the movements of a monkey’s mouth and throat with X-rays, to understand the full potential of its vocal tract.

Researchers then used that information to create a computer model of what it would sound like if the monkey were able to say phrases such as “happy holidays.”

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