BONOBO Chimpanzee "Ai" Crania photos Itani Jun'ichiro archives Guidelines for Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates(pdf) Study material catalogue/database Guideline for field research of non-human primates Primate Genome DB
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Savage-Rumbaugh / Oral
Lessons of bonobo apes: language and culture
E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Department of Biology & Language Research Center Georgia State University
We are so closely related to the apes that it reasonable to
expect of them to be competent in ways similar to our own. Over the past 25 years, their
impressive skills for learning to comprehend printed word-lexigrams' referential meanings,
for learning to use lexigrams in social contexts so as to communicate content that
otherwise could not be exchanged, and even for thinking and problem-solving through
symbols have been documented. In the last 10 years, their remarkable ability to comprehend
human speech has been discovered. Their comprehension of speech appears to require that
they be raised from birth forward, for the next 3 years or so, in a manner similar to that
used for the human child. If they hear speech and see lexigrams used to explain, in simple
terms, what has happened, what is happening now, what an item of interest to them is and
what it does, and what is going to happen near term, they come to comprehend speech as
otherwise they do not.
Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S., & Lewin, R. (1994) Kanzi: at the brink of the human mind.
New York: John Wiley.