Pan paniscus and Pan troglodytes

Contrasts in Preverbal Communicative Competence
  • E. S. Savage-Rumbaugh
Part of the The Pygmy Chimpanzee book series (EBIO)


Previous ape language studies have been undertaken with common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) (Gardner and Gardner, 1969; Rumbaugh, 1977, Savage-Rumbaugh, 1979; Miles, 1982; Patterson and Linden, 1981). Additionally, a brief attempt was made with a pygmy chimpanzee housed in the Stuttgart Zoo by Jordan and Jordan (1977), who employed a Premackian problem-solving paradigm. However, no one has previously attempted to place pygmy chimpanzees in a full-time communicative environment that entails close and constant interaction with human beings for the purpose of attempting to teach them complex symbolic tasks. In fact, apart from the brief work mentioned above by Jordan and Jordan (1977), no serious attempts have been made to investigate the cognitive capacities of these apes, nor to contrast them with other apes. This paucity of information is not due to lack of interest, but simply to lack of availability of these animals for research purposes. They were not reorganized as a distinct species until 1929 (Schwarz, 1929) and it was not until 1956 (Tratz and Heck, 1954) that the wide range of behavioral differences between common chimpanzees and pygmy chimpanzees began to be recognized.


Human Infant Communicative Intentionality Affiliative Behavior Captive Chimpanzee Pygmy Chimpanzee 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. S. Savage-Rumbaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Language Research Center, Yerkes Regional Primate Research CenterEmory University and Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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