Apes and Language: A Review of the Literature Free Essay, Term Paper and Book Report
Apes and Language:
A Review of the Literature
Over the past thirty years, researchers have
demonstrated that the great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas,
and orangutans) resemble humans in language abilities
more than had been thought possible. Just how far
that resemblance extends, however, has been a matter of
some controversy. Researchers agree that the apes have
acquired fairly large vocabularies in American Sign
Language and in artificial languages, but they have
drawn quite different conclusions in addressing the
1. How spontaneously have apes used language?
2. How creatively have apes used language?
3. Can apes create sentences?
4. What are the implications of the ape language
This review of the literature on apes and language focuses
on these four questions.
How Spontaneously Have
Apes Used Language?
In an influential article, Terrace, Petitto,
Sanders, and Bever (1979) argued that the apes in language
experiments were not using language spontaneously
but were merely imitating their trainers, responding to
conscious or unc......
Word Count: 1456
Page Count: 5.8 (250 words a page / double spaced)
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