Teaching Sign Language to Chimpanzees

Edited by R. Allen Gardner, Beatrix T. Gardner, and Thomas E. Van Cantfort

Subjects: Primatology
Paperback : 9780887069666, 342 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780887069659, 342 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. A Cross-Fostering Laboratory
R. A. Gardner and B. T. Gardner

2. Voiced and Signed Responses of Cross-Fostered Chimpanzees
R. A. Gardner, B. T. Gardner and P. Drumm

3. THe Shapes and Uses of Signs in a Cross-Fostering Laboratory
B. T. Gardner, R. A. Gardner and S. G. Nichols
4. A Test of Communication
B. T. Gardner and R. A. Gardner
5. Developmental Trends in Replies to Wh-Questions by Children and Chimpanzees
T. E. Van Cantfort, B. T. Gardner and R. A. Gardner
6. Expression of Person, Place, and Instrument in ASL Utterances of Children and Chimpanzees
J. B. Rimpau, R. A. Gardner and B. T. Gardner
7. Communicative Context and Linguistic Competence: The Effects of Social Setting on a Chimpanzee's Conversational Skill
C. O'Sullivan and C. P. Yeager
8. The Infant Loulis Learns Signs from Cross-Fostered Chimpanzees
R. S. Fouts, D. H. Fouts and T. E. Van Cantfort
9. Loulis in Conversation with the Cross-Fostered Chimpanzees
R. S Fouts and D. H. Fouts
10. Comparative and Developmental Sign Language Studies: A Review of Recent Advances
W. C. Stokoe
Biographical Information for Chimpanzee Subjects


In this volume, the Gardners and their co-workers explore the continuity between human behavior and the rest of animal behavior and find no barriers to be broken, no chasms to be bridged, only unknown territory to be charted and fresh discoveries to be made.

With the beginning of Project Washoe in 1966, sign language studies of chimpanzees opened up a new field of scientific inquiry by providing a new tool for looking at the nature of language and intelligence and the relation between human and nonhuman intelligence. Here, the pioneers in this field review the unique procedures that they developed and the extensive body of evidence accumulated over the years. This close look at what the chimpanzees have actually done and said under rigorous laboratory conditions is the best answer to the heated controversies that have been generated by this line of research among ethologists, psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, and philosophers.

R. Allen Gardner and Beatrix T. Gardner are Professors in the Department of Psychology and Fellows of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Nevada, Reno. Thomas E. Van Cantfort is Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno.