Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In 1969, Allen and Beatrice Gardner published the first account of sign language-acquisition in a chimpanzee in Science. This paper stimulated numerous ape language studies using artificial communication systems. These reports and others set the stage for a long-standing debate that continues today concerning the extent to which nonhuman apes are capable of human language, and to what extent those abilities inform scientists seeking to understand the evolution of language. Despite its relatively short history, the field of ape language has been beset with considerable controversy, including debates over human influence on animal abilities, as well as relevance of such work for discussions on the evolution of language. This chapter will address these issues and the arguments involved and will also review the species, methodologies, and findings of the most prominent ape language projects.

Keywords: ape, language, chimpanzee, evolution of language, artificial communication

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.