By Joel Wallman
This booklet is a critique of the experiments of modern years that attempted to coach language to apes. The achievements of those animals are in comparison with the normal improvement of language, either spoken and signed kinds, in kids. it's argued that the apes in those stories obtained only crude simulations of language instead of language itself and that there's no strong proof that apes can collect a language. A survey of the verbal exchange structures of apes and monkeys in nature unearths that those structures fluctuate from language in profound ways--language is a uniquely human characteristic.
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Extra info for Aping Language
And, like Washoe's, the majority (75 percent) of Koko's two-sign combinations can be classified into a small number (12) of semantic-relational categories. In 1976 a male lowland gorilla, Michael, took up residence in Koko's trailer in an area adjacent to Koko's. Michael, who was about three and one-half years old at introduction, is envisioned as a prospective mate for Koko. He is being tutored in sign language with the same methods and intensity applied to Koko, and it is reported that the two animals sign to each other intermittently.
Tim: No Shelley. Lana: Eye. ) ? Tim give which-is orange. Tim: What which-is orange. 34 The Lana project Lana: ? Tim give apple which-is green. ) Tim: No apple which-is green. Lana: ? Tim give apple which-is orange. Tim: Yes. The "apple which-is orange" locution is thus preceded by several senseless and apparently random variations on it. It is also clear that Lana did not spontaneously decide to indicate a nameless entity by composing a referring expression using one of the item's attributes - the "color" motif of this discussion was created by the trainer, not by Lana.
For example, if the banana and apple of the "Mary give Sarah" model were replaced by other incentives, Sarah would substitute the appropriate chip. New exemplars did not impair her competence in labeling pairs of objects as "same" or "different," and she could indicate whether red is or isn't the color of banana just as reliably as she had learned to write during training that red is the color of cherry. The problem with Premack's transfer test results, or at least with his manner of presenting them, is the practice of lumping the results of all trials into a single statistic (1971,1976a).
Aping Language by Joel Wallman