By Patricia Pascual http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2008/0311/p13s01-bogn.html NOAM CHOMSKY http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/10/noam-chomsky-ca.html • What Chomsky said (Rumbaugh) • Language is in the genetic makeup of human beings • Only humans have and use language • Why Great Apes? • Share 99% of genetic material with YOU… and me. (Jannedy) • Smart, social, easier to live with than an elephant • Gua: 1930s Experiment • Goal: to see if a chimp can learn language merely by exposure • No formal education • How: Gua was “adopted” by a human family • Successful? NO http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/changingaging/longevity/ • Viki: 1950s Experiment • Goal: To prove a chimp could learn language if raised properly • How: Live with humans and undergo training • Successful? NO • Koko: 1970s Experiment • Goal: To prove non-human primates have human language capability • How: Vocal anatomy of gorillas showed they physically lack capability to speak, so Koko was taught ASL • Successful? YES! • Project Nim: Nim Chimpsky • Goal: To see if a chimp could use ASL to communicate and disprove Noam Chomsky’s claim • How: Immerse Nim in an environment where he would use ASL • Successful? NO http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st ory.php?storyId=90516132 • Then what’s so special about Nim? • His communicative language skills did not develop entirely, but his social skills did • Language Analogue Project • Goal: To show language ability of chimps specifically with lexigrams • Lexigrams- symbols that correspond with objects or ideas (Jannedy) • Research project used Lana, female chimp, for studies • How: Trained Lana to communicate in Yerkish, a language designed for primates which includes a keyboard with lexigrams (Great ape) • Successful? YES! http://www.greatapetrust.org/science/history-of-apelanguage/use-of-human-languages-by-captive-great-apes/ • The Future • Researchers have moved on from trying to teach chimps to learn human language to studying how they communicate on their own (Adler) • Issues and Concerns • Is this ethical? • Are they really learning? • What does this mean for humans? • Further thinking <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/ story.php?storyId=90516132>. • Why were Viki’s and Nim’s results considered unsuccessful? • Language is more than just a way of transferring information • Was Chomsky right? http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen/2008/02/vote.html • Great Ape Trust of Iowa. Bonobos May Have Greater Linguistic Skills Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily, 2 Sep. 2008. 6 April 2011.<http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/g/great_ape_language.htm>. • Adler, Margot. The Chimp That Learned Sign Language. Day to Day from National Public Radio, 28 May 2008. 7 April 2011. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90516132>. • Rumbaugh, Duane. Use of Human Language by Captive Great Apes. Great Ape Trust, 2005. 6 April 2011. <http://www.greatapetrust.org/science/history-of-apelanguage/use-ofhuman-languages-by-captive-great-apes/>. • Jannedy, Stefanie. Animal Communication. The Linguistics Department of Ohio State University, 1994. 7 April 2011. <http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~mcnair/Teaching/3206S2004/Animal_Communication.htm>. • Great Ape Language. ScienceDaily. 6 April 2011. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/g/great_ape_language.htm>. • Great ape Language. Wikipedia. 2 March 2011. 6 April 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_ape_language>.