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Can chimp learn human 
language?
What is 
Chimps 
 Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, 
sharing more than 98 percent of our genetic 
blueprint. Humans and chimps are also 
thought to share a common ancestor who 
lived some four to eight million years ago
Types of 
Chimps 
 Common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes (West and 
Central Africa) 
 Bonobo, Pan paniscus (forests of the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo)
Background 
 Chimpanzees live in social communities of 
several dozen animals, and can habituate 
themselves to African rain forests, 
woodlands, and grasslands.
 Although they normally walk on all fours (knuckle-walking), 
chimpanzees can stand and walk upright. 
By swinging from branch to branch they can also 
move quite efficiently in the trees, where they do 
most of their eating. Chimpanzees usually sleep in 
the trees as well, employing nests of leaves. 
 Source; 
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/ma 
mmals/chimpanzee/
What is 
language? 
 Language is the most important aspect in the 
life of all beings.
What is 
language? 
We use language to express inner thoughts 
and emotions, make sense of complex and 
abstract thought, to learn to communicate 
with others, to fulfill our wants and needs, as 
well as to establish rules and maintain our 
culture.
What is 
language? 
 Language can be defined as verbal, physical, 
biologically innate, and a basic form of 
communication.
What is 
language? 
 Behaviourists often define language as a learned 
behaviour involving a stimulus and a 
response.(Ormrod,1995) 
 Often times they will refer to language as verbal 
behaviour, which is language that includes gestures 
and body movements as well as spoken word. ( 
Pierce,& Eplin,1999)
What is 
language? 
When we define language we have to be 
careful not to exclude symbols, gestures,or 
motions. This is because if we exclude these 
from our definition, we will be denying the 
language of the deaf community.
What is 
language? 
 All human languages share basic 
characteristics, some of which are 
organizational rules and infinite generativity. 
 Infinite Generativity is the ability to produce 
an infinite number of sentences using a 
limited set of rules and words. ( Santrock,& 
Mitterer,2001)
What is 
language? 
 Most or all non-human species can exchange 
information, but none of them are known to have a 
system of communication with a complexity that in 
any way is comparable to language. Primarily, they 
communicate with non-linguistic means resembling 
our smiling, laughing, yelling, clenching of fists, and 
raising of eye brows.
What is 
language? 
 Chimpanzees, gorillas, and oranutangs can 
exchange different kinds of information by 
emitting different kinds of shrieks, 
composing their faces in numerous ways, and 
moving their hands or arms in different 
gestures, but they do not have words and 
sentences.
What is 
language? 
 Source 
 http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/hf/ikos/EXFAC03- 
AAS/h05/larestoff/linguistics/Chapter%201.(H05).pdf
Chimpanzee 
Communication 
 A female chimpanzee named Washoe kicked 
off man's earnest quest to teach chimps 
human language. She was born in Africa in 
1965 and eventually taken to Washoe 
County, Nev. (her namesake); that's where 
Washoe became the subject of cognitive 
research performed by Allen and Beatrix 
Gardener
Washoe
Washoe 
 . The chimp wowed the world when she 
successfully learned American Sign 
Language, which had never happened before 
with a nonhuman primate. Washoe then 
passed her skills on to her adopted son 
Loulis, and by the time she died in 2007, 
Washoe had mastered around 130 signs 
 [source: Carey] 
 http://www.friendsofwashoe.org/meet/washoe.html
Nim 
 In 1973, Columbia University psychologist 
Herbert Terrace wanted to see what 
happened with a chimp's language if it were 
raised as a human [source: Adler]. 
 Nim Chimpsky -- named in snide homage for 
Noam Chomsky -- moved in with a family in 
New York City and was taught American Sign 
Language.
Nim 
Photograph: Harry Benson
Nim 
 Although Nim memorized 150 signs, 
researchers discovered his proficiency sprang 
from imitation of his teacher rather than 
unprompted communication [source: Adler]. 
Like Washoe, Nim hadn't cracked the code on 
spontaneous, humanlike communication.
Can chimp 
learn 
language? 
Nevertheless, there are some interesting 
things going on in the apes' brains when 
signing or communicating with their innate 
gestures and vocalizations.
Can chimp 
learn 
language? 
 PET scans conducted during a study for the Yerkes 
National Primate Research Center at Emory 
University found that 
chimpanzee communication activated the 
same regions of the brain as human language, 
particularly Broca's area and Wernicke's area 
 [source: Moskowitz].
Can 
Chimpanzees 
Talk? 
 1. Chimpanzee shares 98.4% of the human 
genetic code, which is more comparing to 
other animals.
Human 
vs 
Chimp 
chromosomes
Can 
Chimpanzees 
Talk? 
 2. Chimpanzee can be trained to use 
sign language 
 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUwOvF7TqgA 
 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3b0t9JfFhI 
 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55put3MLZcw 
 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxInjW1CMbk
Can 
Chimpanzees 
Talk? 
 3. They can learn to order their symbols to 
get what they want, but they can’t master 
the syntax.
For example: 
 Water bird. 
 “Give Washoe” or “Me orange
Can 
Chimpanzees 
Talk? 
 4. The chimpanzee’s vocal cords are located 
higher in their throats and cannot be 
controlled as well as human vocal cords.
Conclusion: 
 Chimpanzees are not capable of human 
language.
 Thank you HUMAN for your attentions
Can chimp learn human language

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Can chimp learn human language

  • 1. Can chimp learn human language?
  • 2. What is Chimps  Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98 percent of our genetic blueprint. Humans and chimps are also thought to share a common ancestor who lived some four to eight million years ago
  • 3.
  • 4. Types of Chimps  Common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes (West and Central Africa)  Bonobo, Pan paniscus (forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • 5. Background  Chimpanzees live in social communities of several dozen animals, and can habituate themselves to African rain forests, woodlands, and grasslands.
  • 6.  Although they normally walk on all fours (knuckle-walking), chimpanzees can stand and walk upright. By swinging from branch to branch they can also move quite efficiently in the trees, where they do most of their eating. Chimpanzees usually sleep in the trees as well, employing nests of leaves.  Source; http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/ma mmals/chimpanzee/
  • 7. What is language?  Language is the most important aspect in the life of all beings.
  • 8. What is language? We use language to express inner thoughts and emotions, make sense of complex and abstract thought, to learn to communicate with others, to fulfill our wants and needs, as well as to establish rules and maintain our culture.
  • 9. What is language?  Language can be defined as verbal, physical, biologically innate, and a basic form of communication.
  • 10. What is language?  Behaviourists often define language as a learned behaviour involving a stimulus and a response.(Ormrod,1995)  Often times they will refer to language as verbal behaviour, which is language that includes gestures and body movements as well as spoken word. ( Pierce,& Eplin,1999)
  • 11. What is language? When we define language we have to be careful not to exclude symbols, gestures,or motions. This is because if we exclude these from our definition, we will be denying the language of the deaf community.
  • 12. What is language?  All human languages share basic characteristics, some of which are organizational rules and infinite generativity.  Infinite Generativity is the ability to produce an infinite number of sentences using a limited set of rules and words. ( Santrock,& Mitterer,2001)
  • 13. What is language?  Most or all non-human species can exchange information, but none of them are known to have a system of communication with a complexity that in any way is comparable to language. Primarily, they communicate with non-linguistic means resembling our smiling, laughing, yelling, clenching of fists, and raising of eye brows.
  • 14. What is language?  Chimpanzees, gorillas, and oranutangs can exchange different kinds of information by emitting different kinds of shrieks, composing their faces in numerous ways, and moving their hands or arms in different gestures, but they do not have words and sentences.
  • 15. What is language?  Source  http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/hf/ikos/EXFAC03- AAS/h05/larestoff/linguistics/Chapter%201.(H05).pdf
  • 16. Chimpanzee Communication  A female chimpanzee named Washoe kicked off man's earnest quest to teach chimps human language. She was born in Africa in 1965 and eventually taken to Washoe County, Nev. (her namesake); that's where Washoe became the subject of cognitive research performed by Allen and Beatrix Gardener
  • 18. Washoe  . The chimp wowed the world when she successfully learned American Sign Language, which had never happened before with a nonhuman primate. Washoe then passed her skills on to her adopted son Loulis, and by the time she died in 2007, Washoe had mastered around 130 signs  [source: Carey]  http://www.friendsofwashoe.org/meet/washoe.html
  • 19. Nim  In 1973, Columbia University psychologist Herbert Terrace wanted to see what happened with a chimp's language if it were raised as a human [source: Adler].  Nim Chimpsky -- named in snide homage for Noam Chomsky -- moved in with a family in New York City and was taught American Sign Language.
  • 21. Nim  Although Nim memorized 150 signs, researchers discovered his proficiency sprang from imitation of his teacher rather than unprompted communication [source: Adler]. Like Washoe, Nim hadn't cracked the code on spontaneous, humanlike communication.
  • 22. Can chimp learn language? Nevertheless, there are some interesting things going on in the apes' brains when signing or communicating with their innate gestures and vocalizations.
  • 23. Can chimp learn language?  PET scans conducted during a study for the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University found that chimpanzee communication activated the same regions of the brain as human language, particularly Broca's area and Wernicke's area  [source: Moskowitz].
  • 24. Can Chimpanzees Talk?  1. Chimpanzee shares 98.4% of the human genetic code, which is more comparing to other animals.
  • 25. Human vs Chimp chromosomes
  • 26. Can Chimpanzees Talk?  2. Chimpanzee can be trained to use sign language  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUwOvF7TqgA  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3b0t9JfFhI  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55put3MLZcw  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxInjW1CMbk
  • 27. Can Chimpanzees Talk?  3. They can learn to order their symbols to get what they want, but they can’t master the syntax.
  • 28. For example:  Water bird.  “Give Washoe” or “Me orange
  • 29. Can Chimpanzees Talk?  4. The chimpanzee’s vocal cords are located higher in their throats and cannot be controlled as well as human vocal cords.
  • 30.
  • 31. Conclusion:  Chimpanzees are not capable of human language.
  • 32.  Thank you HUMAN for your attentions