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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 following questions: 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 studies? 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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