Title

Picture Naming in Signing Chimpanzees

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Picture Naming, Chimpanzee, American Sign Language

Abstract

Gardner and Gardner (1989) cross-fostered the chimpanzees, Tatu, Dar, Moja, and Washoe, as deaf human children immersed in American Sign Language. Opportunities to look through picture books, magazines, and photos have been a part of the chimpanzees’ daily routine since early on in their lives. The items chimpanzees choose to communicate about may indicate preferences or show flexible use of signs. This study performed a content analysis on the pictorial items the chimpanzees are signing about. Sign logs, an archival database, contain records of the chimpanzees’ use of signs. We selected all instances of chimpanzee signed interactions with magazines, pictures, photos, and paintings. Signed interactions included conversations between chimpanzee and caregiver as well as a chimpanzee privately signing to him or herself. A total of 74 sign logs were selected for analysis. Coders categorized each item as food, clothing, beauty, vegetation, animal, or other. All of the chimpanzees signed about pictures. Tatu had the highest number of records. She signed about pictures of food more often than any other category. Relationships between the chimpanzees and the items they sign about will be discussed on the poster, including examples of pictures and signs.

Poster Number

61

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jensvold, Mary Lee

Additional Mentoring Department

Primate Behavior and Ecology

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May 15th, 2:29 PM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Picture Naming in Signing Chimpanzees

SURC Ballroom C/D

Gardner and Gardner (1989) cross-fostered the chimpanzees, Tatu, Dar, Moja, and Washoe, as deaf human children immersed in American Sign Language. Opportunities to look through picture books, magazines, and photos have been a part of the chimpanzees’ daily routine since early on in their lives. The items chimpanzees choose to communicate about may indicate preferences or show flexible use of signs. This study performed a content analysis on the pictorial items the chimpanzees are signing about. Sign logs, an archival database, contain records of the chimpanzees’ use of signs. We selected all instances of chimpanzee signed interactions with magazines, pictures, photos, and paintings. Signed interactions included conversations between chimpanzee and caregiver as well as a chimpanzee privately signing to him or herself. A total of 74 sign logs were selected for analysis. Coders categorized each item as food, clothing, beauty, vegetation, animal, or other. All of the chimpanzees signed about pictures. Tatu had the highest number of records. She signed about pictures of food more often than any other category. Relationships between the chimpanzees and the items they sign about will be discussed on the poster, including examples of pictures and signs.