Language is all that Seperates Animals from Humans Essay

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Language is all that Seperates Animals from Humans

For thousands of years humans have wrestled with the question of their "human" nature. Most often they have defined themselves in relation to the animal kingdom, yearning either to take on some of the superior attributes of other animals or to rise above their own animal nature by becoming angelic. And thus they define themselves as a special sort of unique creation. Our magnificent and intricate minds have given human kind the gift of specialized speech and communication, which we call language. And this brings us the question, is language the only true barrier that sets us apart from animals? Language is more than verbal communication, but defining precisely when animals are
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The study of gorilla learning sheds light on the important connection between gorillas and their sibling species, Homo sapiens. This next information is based on gathered information from Koko the gorilla's personal website and found that Project Koko has contributed to the study of the evolution and development of human communication. THe well-known gorilla, Koko, has been a case study of her intellectual, physical and linguistic development since her infancy. Koko, a female lowland gorilla born in 1971, uses American Sign Language and understands spoken English. Koko's participation in the study began when she was one year old. THe study is known as The Gorilla Language Project, which is both an effort to gather data about gorilla language and a case study of observed gorilla behavior and utterances. All signs, the context in which they occured, the number of repetitions, and anything unusual that might have occurred during signing are recorded daily. THe project administers informal and formal tests of vocabulary comprehension and of the understanding of relationships between objects and words, as well as standard child intelligence tests. During the course of the study, Koko has advanced further with language than any other non-himan. Koko has a working vocabulary of over 1,000 signs. Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. Koko initiates the majority of conversations with her human

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