Early Signs of Language in Child and Chimpanzee

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Science  28 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4178, pp. 752-753
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4178.752


In a sequel to Project Washoe, chimpanzees are being taught American Sign Language from birth by humans who are fluent in the language, including persons who are themselves deaf or whose parents were deaf. The first two subjects began to use signs when they were 3 months old, and these early results indicate that the new conditions are significantly superior to the conditions of Project Washoe. More valid comparisons can now be made between the acquisition of language by children and by chimpanzees.