Assignment on Nonhuman Primate Sign Language

Assignment on Nonhuman Primate Sign LanguageProject descriptionOne major debate among primatologists and linguists alike is whether nonhuman primates such as chimpanzees and gorillas are capable of language and, if so, to what extent they are. In this assignment, you are asked to review Chapter 1 of the Rowe-Levine text, especially the attributes of nonhuman communication versus human language (pp. 10-12) accounts of possible language in the behavior of Washoe (a chimp), Kanzi (a bonobo), and Koko (a gorilla) (pp 12-14); and skepticism over ape language studies (pp. 15-20).You are then asked to view a short take from Among the Wild Chimpanzees and the video A Conversation with Koko in its entirety. I suggest that you take notes while viewing both films.Finally, please answer the following questions based on the reading and the video.1.What is the difference between language and speech and between language and sign languages.2.Compare the brain structure of humans with those of nonhuman primates such as chimps. (pp. 19-21 of text. )3.From viewing the chimps in the wild (Among the Wild Chimpanzees), can they be said to have a language? Include chimp displays in dominance behavior, behavior in warfare, and grooming and begging behavior.4.From viewing Koko alone, does Koko have a language? How about Michael? Give examples from both cases.5.Describe Kokos use of sign language. Include productivity in your discussion; what new signs does she create?6.Has Francine (Penny) Patterson made the case that gorillas are capable of language? Please explain your answer.7.Does that mean that gorillas also have a culture? Explain, using examples.8.Why didnt Koko mate with Michael? Does that mean that the incest tabu applies to gorillas? Why didn?t she mate with Ndume? Why would this explanation differ from her failure to mate with Michael?9.Do gorillas use sign language in the wild. Site evidence from the film.10.Finally, in light of the discussion on pp. 13-22 of Concise Introduction to Linguistics, evaluate the skepticism over ape language studies. Include in your evaluation the Clever Hans Effect and definitions of Faculty of Language in the Broad Sense and in the Narrow Sense.!

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