Came across a terrific bit of primate related reading today which I wanted to pass on. It’s a pdf titled PrimatePoetics hosted over at SocialFiction. The pamphlet posits that non-human primates have long been observed to use their own type of language in the wild, and that in captivity, those primates being taught human language, through signs, are in effect creating a new language altogether.

Quote: Our language, when it is passed on to a different species, becomes a new language. PrimatePoetics is born from the realization that this language should be appreciated in its own right, as the greatest revolution in literature since the invention of written Chinese 4000 years ago.

Regardless of your take on this assertion the pdf is well worth a read in that it’s a primer of sorts of the history of primate language study and offers an overview, on an “ape-by-ape basis,” of relevant milestones. Very interesting stuff. The illustration above is, of course, a visualization of what I imagine the great apes will say to us once they master their facility for language.

Dated: 07.05  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post:   Email this post: »