By Jean Aitchison
Foreword to the Routledge Classics variation Preface to the 1st version. Preface to the 5th version. creation 1.The nice automated grammatizator 2.Animals that attempt to speak 3.Grandmama's the teeth 4.Predestinate grooves 5.A blueprint within the mind? 6.Chattering childrens 7.Puzzling it out 8.Celestial unintelligibility 9.The white elephant challenge 10.The case of the lacking fingerprint 11.The Cheshire Cat's grin 12.Banker's clerk or hippopotamus? feedback for additional interpreting References Index
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And at the lion–leopard chirp, they hastily climbed up a tree (Seyfarth et al. 1980a, 1980b; Cheney and Seyfarth 1990). So the monkeys clearly have a special signal for each type of enemy. Yet the danger cries of monkeys are still far from human language. They are a mix of a shriek of fear and a warning to others, and are only partly a symbol. The huge gulf between these calls and ‘real’ speech has led many people to argue for a discontinuity theory. Proponents of discontinuity theories claim that humans still retain their basic set of animal cries, which exist alongside language.
Let us consider some of this later research. From the mid 1960s, teaching language to apes became a popular pastime among American psychologists. A minor population explosion of ‘talking chimps’ followed. Broadly, they can be divided into signers, who were taught sign language, and pointers, who pressed symbols on a keyboard. Our discussion will begin with two signers, Washoe and Nim, then move on to two pointers, Lana and Kanzi. Washoe’s exact age is unknown, but she is estimated to now be over 40 years old.
Furthermore, he rarely initiated conversations. Only 12 per cent of his utterances were truly spontaneous, and the remaining 88 per cent were in response to his teachers. We may conclude, therefore, that Nim did not use his signs in the structured, creative, social way that is characteristic of human children. It seems reasonable to agree with Terrace that ‘It would be premature to conclude that a chimpanzee’s combinations show the same structure evident in the sentences of a child’ (1979a: 221) and that ‘Nim’s signing with his teachers bore only a superﬁcial resemblance to a child’s conversations with his or her parents’ (Terrace 1983: 57).