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Chimpanzees and language  

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Online information

The following is a list of online resources you can look at to get general information about chimpanzees. This information has either been purchase through our access to online databases, or we have vetted the sites for their validity, reliability, and accuracy.

  • EbscoHost (Student Resource Center)
    You'll find information in here on chimpanzees. Click on Student Resource Center for easiest navigation.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
    Britannica has a great article on chimpanzees as well as tons of images and videos you can watch to learn more.
  • Grolier Online
    Grolier Online features several articles on chimpanzees, arranged by reading level. For a bigger challenge, switch to high school at the top.
  • Science Online
    Want something a little more intellectually rigorous? Try Science Online.
  • Today's Science
    News about chimpanzees in the last few months can be found here, in Today's Science.

Chimpanzees and Language

Here are various links about chimpanzees and language.

  • Chimpanzeess can learn new language
    The article focuses on chimpanzee's ability to learn new languages. Topics include the research completed by scientist Katie Slocombe on how chimpanzee's learn language, the development of communication between chimpanzees, and how the transfer of chimpanzees from one area to another can prompt bilingual learning in chimpanzees.
  • Aping language
    Focuses on the discovery of lateralization of the planum temporale (PT) in the brains of chimpanzees. Implication that the PT has developed a special function; Conclusion of researchers that chimpanzees possess the same structures for language syntax and meaning as humans.
  • Grammar Head-to-Head: Chimp vs 2-Year-Old
    The article provides information on a study conducted by University of Pennsylvania linguistics researcher Charles Yang which involved an analysis of the speech patterns of children and compared them with transcripts of a signing chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky. The study found that the chimp's language had patterns typical of learning a language through imitation and rote memorization, while the children were able to link words they have learned in new combinations by using basic grammar rules.
  • Thinking like a chimpanzee
    An article is presented that discusses work from the Primate Research Institute in Japan on thinking and cognition in chimpanzees. Institute head Tetsuro Matsuzawa and other researchers examined chimpanzees' memory, learning ability, reception, and categorization skills. The article discusses the testing and experiments, noting the use of computers and the emphasis on language studies. Information is also provided on social relationships, verbal and nonverbal communication, aggression, and use of tools.
  • Talking with hands
    The article discusses the research on hand gestures as a means of communications for chimpanzees and bonobos or pygmy chimpanzees and its significance on the language development among humans. The research was made by scientists from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The research showed that primates are better at hand communication than facial expressions and that apes use the same region of the brain to think about gestures as people use in understanding words.
  • Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated
    From the BBC: Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate.
  • Communication among primates
    An interesting article about how primates communicate.

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