Publication 1328

Rumbaugh D. M., Gill T. V., Glasersfeld E. von, Warner H. & Pisani P. (1975) Conversations with a chimpanzee in a computer-controlled environment. Biological Psychiatry 10(6): 627–641.
The linguistic-type skills of a young chimpanzee (Pan) acquired in a computer-controlled language-training situation are reviewed. Those skills include facile acquisition of vocabulary, object naming, color naming, appropriate use of “yes” and “no” in response to certain questions, and conversation. In conversations the subject has formulated novel sentences and without special training has asked that objects be named, whereupon requests were made that they be given to her. These findings are interpreted in terms of how enriched environments can serve to bring forth novel communication skills in the chimpanzee, which is otherwise alinguistic; how the challenge of the environment can serve to limit manifest intelligence; and how a cognitive, rather than the traditional stimulus-response, framework is required for understanding the communication skills and psychological processes of the chimpanzee.
Key words: language, chimpanse
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