chapter  9
26 Pages

Language Learning in the Bonobo: How and Why They Learn

ByE. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh

The development of mind and the acquisition of language are two mental processes that seem to set Homo sapiens firmly apart from all other primates. Yet given the extraordinarily close genetic and morphological similarity between Homo and Pan (Sibley & Ahlquist, 1987), the apparent vast gap in mental ability represents an anomaly in the animal kingdom. Homo and Pan, by all reasonable taxonomic measures, should be in the same genus (Diamond, 1988).