Is Problem-Solving Language?

  • H. S. Terrace
Part of the Topics in Contemporary Semiotics book series (TICSE)


Opinion has shifted during the last decade about the ability of chimpanzees to learn language. Recent projects have reversed earlier failures to establish communication between man and chimpanzee by bypassing the troublesome (for chimpanzees) vocal medium of language. Nevertheless, just what a chimpanzee can learn about language remains controversial. Through the media of American Sign Language (e.g., Gardner amp; Gardner 1969) and the artificial visual languages invented by Premack (1970a) and by Rumbaugh and Glasersfeld (1973), chimpanzees have been taught to produce and comprehend far greater vocabularies than were thought possible following the unsuccessful attempts of the Hayeses (1951), the Kelloggs [1933 (1967); this volume], and others to communicate with chimpanzees via vocal languages. What is at issue is whether a chimpanzee can master relationships between words—in particular, relationships as expressed in sentences.


Causal Inference American Sign Nonsense Word Termite Mound Comprehension Problem 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. S. Terrace
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations