chimpanzee linguistics

Conversations with toddlers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hprimates

recounted a conversation that had with Thea, on the subject of apes and monkeys, which got me browsing aimlessly through Wikipedia. I came across an article on Yerkish, an artificial language designed in the 1970s for use by non-human primates, principally chimpanzees. Yerkish has a vocabulary of symbols (lexigrams) which are used to label buttons on a keyboard, and has a relatively complex grammar. The paper referenced in the Wikipedia article (a scan of a microfiche version of a typed paper original) has an appendix of conversations with Lana (the first chimpanzee to have learned Yerkish) that were so close… Read More »Conversations with toddlers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hprimates