LINGUIST List 7.144

Tue Jan 30 1996

FYI: Systemic-Functional WWW, Apes & Language

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. "Mick O'Donnell", Systemic-Functional Linguistics Web Pages
  2. Rachel Lagunoff, Apes & Language syllabus

Message 1: Systemic-Functional Linguistics Web Pages

Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 14:07:56
From: "Mick O'Donnell" <>
Subject: Systemic-Functional Linguistics Web Pages

For those of you interested, I have started a web-site
Systemic-oriented information.

Here you can find:

 Systemic Email Addresses.
 Systemic Mail Groups.
 Systemic Bibliography.
 Systemic-Computational Bibliography.
 Recent Systemic Publications.
 Software for Systemic-Functional Linguistics.
 Systemic Conferences & Meetings.
 Journals Relevant to Systemics.

 Another Systemic web-site, run by Tony Berber Sardinha, is available on:

Mick O'Donnell
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Message 2: Apes & Language syllabus

Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 13:42:11 +0100
From: Rachel Lagunoff <>
Subject: Apes & Language syllabus
Dear Linguist and SLLING-L Subscribers,

About a year ago, I unsuspectingly offered to send a copy of my Apes &
Language course syllabus to anyone who wanted one. The response was
overwhelming, and I couldn't send one to everyone individually. I now have
a new e-mail system, which makes it much easier to copy documents onto my
messages. So, at long last, here it is! My apologies to those who were
hoping the information would arrive close to the time of the original


Apes and Language
TESL & Applied Linguistics 98T
Winter 1995

Instructor: Rachel Lagunoff
[I have removed information of relevance only to the students in the class.]

Required: Fromkin, V. & Rodman, R., An Introduction to Language (5th Ed.)
 APS Reader for this course [see Table of Contents below]
Optional: Wallman, J., Aping Language

The above books are available in the student bookstore. These plus
additional optional
readings are on reserve in Towell Library (see Reserve Book List [below]).

Course description/objectives
This seminar will provide you with the background necessary to understand
the issues
involved in attempts to teach apes human language. The course will begin
with an
introduction to what human language is and how we acquire it, with an
emphasis on
American Sign Language. We will then read and discuss research reports of
particular ape
language studies, along with critiques of the studies and reports. Ape
language research
methodology, interpretation of research results, and styles of academic
critique and reply
will also be discussed.

By the end of this class, you will have done and/or will be able to do the
* Explain how language differs from other types of human communication
* Explain how human language differs from animal communication systems
* Explain how sign language differs from non-linguistic gestural communication
* Describe and critically evaluate the methodology and results of (some of
the) experiments
to teach chimpanzees and gorillas language
* Intelligently critique popular media reports of "talking apes"

Topics and Readings
Week Topic Required Reading
Optional Reading

1 What are apes?
 What is language? F&R, ch. 1
Pinker, pp. 342-351

2 Language Acquisition F&R, 10 (393-416);
Pinker, pp. 32-39,
 Language vs. Communication 7 (294-299)

3 American Sign Language F&R, ch. 10, pp.
 Video of humans signing 416-421; handouts
Klima & Bellugi,ch. 1

4 Overview of ape language studies; F&R, ch. 10,
Wallman, ch. 2;
 The Clever Hans Phenomenon pp. 424-430
Hediger in Sebeok &

Rosenthal pp. 1-17

5 Washoe and Nim Gardner & Gardner
 Video of Washoe Terrace, et al.
Wallman, ch. 5-6

6 Koko; Video of Koko Patterson
 Preparation for Midterm Petitto &
Seidenberg Wallman, ch. 5-6

7 Midterm: In-class Debate
 Point of view: Deaf culture Neisser

8 Kanzi; Video of Kanzi
 Visitor: Patricia Greenfield Savage-Rumbaugh, et al.

9 Critiques, replies to Kanzi research; Seidenberg & Petitto
Pinker, pp. 332-432;
 Methodology, interpretation of Savage-Rumbaugh Chomsky in
 results in ape/language research Nelson
Sebeok & Sebeok

10 Final discussion of apes & language
 Presentation of final paper topics

Reserve Book List, Towell Library

Bickerton, D. 1990. Language and Species. Chicago: University of Chicago
Cavalieri, P. & Singer, P. 1993. The Great Ape Project. New York: St.
Martin's Press.
Fromkin, V. & Rodman, R. 1993. Introduction to Language (5th Edition).
 Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
Gardner, R.A., Garder, B.T., & Van Cantfort, T.E. (Eds). 1989. Teaching Sign
 Language to Chimpanzees. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Klima, E. & Bellugi, U. (Eds.). 1990. The Signs of Language. Cambridge:
 University Press.
Lane, H., & Grosjean, F. (Eds.). 1980. Recent Perspectives on American Sign
 Language. Hillsdale: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
Luce, J. de & Wilder, H. T. (Eds.). 1983. Language in Primates. New
York: Springer-
Neisser, A. 1983. The Other Side of Silence. Wash. D.C.: Gallaudet
University Press.
Patterson, F. & Linden, E. 1981. The Education of Koko. New York: Holt,
Rinehart &
Peng, F. (Ed.). 1978. Sign Language and Language Acquisition in Man and Ape.
 Boulder: Westview Press.
Pinker, S. 1994. The Language Instinct. New York: William Morrow.
Premack, D. & Premack, A. J. 1983. The Mind of an Ape. New York: W.W. Morton.
Savage-Rumbaugh, S. & Lewin, R. 1994. Kanzi. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Sebeok, T. & Umiker-Sebeok, J. (Eds.). 1980. Speaking of Apes. New York:
Sebeok, T., & Rosenthal, R. (Eds.). 1981. The Clever Hans Phenomenon.
New York:
 New York Academy of Sciences.
Siple, P. (Ed.). 1978. Understanding Language through Sign Language
Research. New
 York: Academic Press.
Terrace, H. S. 1987. Nim. New York: Columbia University Press.
Wallman, J. 1992. Aping Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Table of Contents

1. R. Allen Gardner & Beatrice T. Gardner, "Teaching Sign Language to a
 Chimpanzee", Science, 1979, Vol. 165, pp. 664-672.

2. H.S. Terrace, L.A. Petitto, R.J. Sanders, T.G. Bever, "Can an Ape
Create a
 Sentence?", Science, 1979, Vol. 206, pp. 891-902.

3. Francine G. Patterson, "The Gestures of a Gorilla: Language
Acquisition in
 Another Pongid", Brain and Language, 1978, Vol. 5, pp. 72-97.

4. Laura A. Petitto & Mark S. Seidenberg, "On the Evidence for
Linguistic Abilities in
 Signing Apes", Brain and Language, 1979, Vol. 8, pp. 162-183.

5. Arden Neisser, The Other Side of Silence: "Apeing Sign Language,"
pp. 202-234,
 1990, Gallaudet University Press, Washington, D.C.

6. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Kelly McDonald, Rose A. Sevick, William D.
 Elizabeth Rupert, "Spontaneous Symbol Acquisition and Communicative
Use by
 Pygmy Chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)", Journal of Experimental Psychology:
 General, 1986, Vol. 115, pp. 211-235.

7. Mark S. Seidenberg & Laura A. Petitto, "Communication, Symbolic
 Communication, and Language: Comment on Savage-Rumbaugh, McDonald,
 Sevick, Hopkins, and Rupert (1986)", Journal of Experimental
 General, 1987, Vol. 116, pp. 279-287.

8. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, "Communication, Symbolic Communication, and
 Language: Reply to Seidenberg and Petitto", Journal of Experimental
 General, 1987, Vol. 116, pp. 288-292.

9. Katharine Nelson, "What's in a Name? Reply to Seidenberg and
Petitto", Journal
 of Experimental Psychology: General, 1987, Vol. 116, pp. 293-296.
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