- Panzee and Panbanisha
Panpanzee, often called "Panzee", and Panbanisha are two
apes with whom research is being carried out in the United States. Panzee lives at the [http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc/ Language Research Center] at [http://www.gsu.edu Georgia State University] and Panbanisha lives at the Great Ape Trustin Iowa. Panzee is a common chimpanzee("Pan troglodytes"), while Panbanisha is a Bonobo("Pan paniscus"); these are two separate (endangered) species. The basis of the early research, headed by Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, a US anthropologist, is to study the language faculties of non-human primates and find out to what extent their upbringing affects their ability to use language.
Panzee and Panbanisha were reared in an environment with other bonobos and with human teachers. The teachers used keyboards with
lexigrams on them in tandem with spoken communication in order to allow the two apes to communicate back to them, and to allow them to learn to comprehend spoken and symbolic language Savage-Rumbaugh, S., and Lewin, R. (1994) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/047115959X Kanzi: The Ape At The Brink of The Human Mind] , John Wiley and Sons, Toronto. ISBN: 047115959X] . It should be noted that of the two, Panbanisha showed a greater linguistic capability, and was able to comprehend far more spoken language and lexigrams than her counterpart, Panzee.
The keyboards now in use contain a few hundred symbols, and the linguistic capability of these two is quite good. Savage-Rumbaugh, S., and Lewin, R. (1994) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/047115959X Kanzi: The Ape At The Brink of The Human Mind] , John Wiley and Sons, Toronto. ISBN: 047115959X] They are able to recognise not only digitised and spoken speech, but also the use of solely lexigrams from the keyboard.
The researchers claim that the experiments with these apes show that the gap between the genus "Pan" and our early hominid ancestors, and even ourselves, is much smaller than we had previously realised.
Panbanisha now has two sons,
Nyotaand Nathen. Panzee does not have any children at this time.
* [http://www.santafe.edu/~johnson/articles.chimp.html Chimp talk debate: Is it really language?] The New York Times, June 1995
* [http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc/bonobos.htm GSU Website] - Panzee and Panbanisha
* [http://www.iowagreatapes.org/bonobo/meet/ GAT Website] - Where Panbanisha lives as of Monday, April 25th 2005.
* [http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/616/description#description The Development of language Skills in Bonobo and Chimpanzee I. Comprehension.] -
Language and Communication, Vol. 15, No 2. pp121-148, 1995
* Savage-Rumbaugh, S., and Lewin, R. (1994) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/047115959X Kanzi: The Ape At The Brink of The Human Mind] , John Wiley and Sons, Toronto. ISBN: 047115959X
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.