By Joel Wallman
This ebook is a critique of the experiments of contemporary years that attempted to coach language to apes. The achievements of those animals are in comparison with the ordinary improvement of language, either spoken and signed varieties, in youngsters. it's argued that the apes in those stories bought only crude simulations of language instead of language itself and that there's no strong facts that apes can gather a language. A survey of the communique structures of apes and monkeys in nature unearths that those structures fluctuate from language in profound ways--language is a uniquely human characteristic.
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Additional resources for Aping Language
39 The artificial-language projects Sarah's success level on transfer tests was generally equal to the performance she attained by the end of the training phase of a paradigm. For example, if the banana and apple of the "Mary give Sarah" model were replaced by other incentives, Sarah would substitute the appropriate chip. New exemplars did not impair her competence in labeling pairs of objects as "same" or "different," and she could indicate whether red is or isn't the color of banana just as reliably as she had learned to write during training that red is the color of cherry.
57), for example, state that "Lana used symbols that were formed by recombining 1, 2, or more of 9 graphic elements, just as English words are written by combining 1, 2, or more of 26 alphabetic elements. " The first problem with this assertion is that the elements of the English alphabet or any other alphabet form a code in which, generally speaking, there is a systematic relationship between an element and its pronunciation. The individual design elements of Yerkish lexigrams, by contrast, have no representational properties - they do not stand for anything - and are thus like letters only in the relatively trivial fact that both go to make up other entities.
Several kinds of test have been administered, but Kanzi's task in all of them is essentially to select the correct one of three lexigrams or photographs after seeing a photograph or lexigram or hearing a word. In some tests the word is spoken, in others it is produced by a speech synthesizer to eliminate any prosodic cues such as pitch and intonation, and in others it is prerecorded on tape and played only to Kanzi in order to preclude the possibility that the person administering the test (who does not prepare the tape) might somehow convey the 26 History of the ape-language projects answer to Kanzi.