Why Apes Have The Ability To Communicate Linguistics Essay

1079 words - 5 pages

Communication and language was the beginning of civilisation and as time passed, we humans believed we are not the only beings with the needed vocal cords to be able to produce language and communicate with each other. Although non-humans are known to able to communicate, researchers wanted to know whether or not they are able to replicate spoken language, Wikipedia (2019, para.6) as language has been defined “to a doubly articulated system, in which signs are formed for objects and states and then combine syntactically, in ways that determine how their meanings will be understood”. For example, child eats food. This uses the same words but the sentence construction will be understood by speakers of English and Rowe & Levine (2016, p.2) “communication is behaviour that affects the behaviour of others by the transmission of information”. Rowe & Levine (2016, para.1) When an organism communicates it is sending a message to the environment which will lead to change.
The chimp that learned sign language (2008, para.1) “This lead to linguist doing research on different apes such as Nim Chimpsky, where he took part in a Columbia university research study called Project Nim in 1970”.The chimp that learned sign language (2008, para. 2) “The project was led by Herbert Terrace, a psychologist who wanted to find out if a chimpanzee could learn to communicate using American Sign Language”. The chimp that learned sign language (2008, para. 6) “Nim Chimpsky was from the name Noam Chomsky the MIT linguist who theorized that language is unique to humans”. The troubled life of Nim Chimpsky (2011, para.1) “Terrace wanted to disagree with Chomsky’s theory and reveal that a chimpanzee could develop real language”. Nim was raised by a human family in a home as part of a study which showed no evidence of an ape’s ability to use grammar. The chimp that learned language (2008 para.13) “Terrace concluded that even Nim learned 125 signs, he had not acquired anything the researchers were prepared to designate worthy of the name language, but he learned to imitate the trainer’s signs in the correct context”.
Wikipedia (2019, para.7) “One of Terrace’s colleagues, Laura-Ann Petito stated that Nim’s true vocabulary count was closer to 25 than 125.” “Terrace mentioned that none of the chimps were using language, because they were able to learn signs but were not able to form them syntactically as language”.
‘‘Terrace and his colleagues concluded that the chimpanzee could not show sequential behaviour that rivalled human grammar.’’Nim’s use of language was pragmatic to obtain an outcome also receive an award after an impressive outcome, not like a human’s child who can generate or express meaning, thoughts and ideas. It was stated that there was nothing that Nim could be taught that could not equally well be taught to a pigeon using operant conditioning.
Rowe and Levine (2016, p.18) “Terrace added more criticism on ape-language that is being studied, that Nim’s utterance did ...


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