Chimpanzee Language and Elephant Tails: A Theoretical Synthesis

  • Roger S. Fouts
Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 11)


A large part of the controversy surrounding chimpanzee language research stems directly from the theoretical and a priori assumptions about the nature of behavior an individual experimenter brings to the research. Hence, the findings of those experimenters who assume a passive organism in their procedures may reflect the mental capacities and biases of the experimenter as much as they reflect the mental and linguistic capacities of the chimpanzee. On the other hand, those experimenters who assume an active, social chimpanzee are in a position to find the mental and linguistic capacities that reflect the chimpanzee’s own abilities.


Sign Language Tongue Movement Iconic Gesture Language Behavior Linguistic Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1983

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  • Roger S. Fouts

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