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For three decades, primatologist Roger Fouts has been involved in language studies of the chimpanzee, the animal most closely related to human beings. Among his subjects was the renowned Washoe, who was "endowed with a powerful need to learn and communicate," and who developed an extraordinary vocabulary in American sign language. Another chimpanzee, Fouts writes, "never made a grammatical error," which turned a whole school of linguistic theory upside down. While reporting these successes, Fouts also notes that chimpanzees are regularly abused in laboratory settings and that in the wild their number has fallen from 5,000,000 to fewer than 175,000 in the last century.
In the early 1970s, Allen and Beatrix Gardner performed groundbreaking research in language by teaching American sign language (ASL) to a young female chimpanzee named Washoe. Hired to work with Washoe on this project was a budding psychologist named Roger Fouts. In this work, Fouts (psychology, Central Washington Univ.), codirector of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, unfolds a fascinating account of how Washoe and four other chimps learned to communicate with humans and with one another via ASL, shattering the concept put forth by Herbert S. Terrace in Nim (1979) that language was a defining barrier between humans and other animals. Fouts also breaks another barrier?declaring love for his research subjects, considering the chimps as his extended family. His actions to improve life for his chimpanzees, he notes, and promote humane treatment of all apes in captivity have adversely affected his professional career. Recommended for academic and public libraries.?Raymond Hamel, Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Ctr. Lib., Madison
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This was a fascinating book about all animals (people included) and how they interact. It also was very interesting to learn about the research involving chimps. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Diana Smith
My good friend and I personally worked with these chimps and the select group of specialists who began this program of learning FROM the chimps. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shirley Beamer
I enjoyed this book. Chimps are so interesting and so like us, I would love to read more like this.Published 6 months ago by Vicki L Pulley
I am half way through this book, and I cannot stop talking about it. I randomly bought a used copy because the price. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Erica Cleaver
I keep this book on my night table. ("Next Of Kin" and "Nim Chimpsky" are my very favorite books of all time). I have read this book more than once. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Happy Customer