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Savage- Rumbaugh et al. (animal language)


To study the language acquisition of two bonobo chimps Kanzi and
Mulika compared to two "common" chimps, Austin and Sherman


Data was gathered over 17 months longitudinal study
Researchers said not experiment
o Could be seen as a Quasi-experiment different chimpanzees

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Savage- Rumbaugh et al. (animal language)

Similarities and difference with Austin and Sherman

Similarities Differences

Opportunity to watch TV Sherman+ Austin trained and Kanzi +
Mulika learnt by observing

Exposure to gesture/ photos/ novel Sherman and Austin didn't learn with
objects/ tests/ discipline voice synthesizer keyboard didn't
understand human voice…

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Savage- Rumbaugh et al. (animal language)

o Experimenter giving encouragement
o Inadvertent glances
o Shown photos to match to lexigram and vice versa
o Match symbols to English
o Match symbols to synthesizer (kanzi)


Collected over 17 month period
Indoor= automatically recorded by computer
Outdoor collected by hand…

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Savage- Rumbaugh et al. (animal language)

Lexigram= a visual symbol system, a board covered with geometric symbols
that brighten when touched

Blind tests= the use of an experimenter who doesn't know the details of the
test and so cannot influence the outcome.


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