You are hereBackground/ Other species - part 3

Background/ Other species - part 3


PREVIOUS: Kanzi the Bonobo



LANGUAGE RESEARCH ON OTHER SPECIES - part III



Koko the Gorilla

The gorilla Koko was brought up and trained in American Sign Language by Dr. Penny Patterson.  After four-and-a-half years of instruction, Koko had learned 132 words, and has now leveled out at approximately 1,000 words.  She also responds intelligibly to spoken English.  Koko can be creative in her sign language, making new words to describe new objects, by combining known ones.  ‘Eye-hat’ for mask, ‘white-tiger’ for zebra, and ‘finger-bracelet’ for ring, are among the words Koko is reported to have created.  Patterson also reports that Koko uses her signs for such purposes as to swear, rhyme, joke and lie.  Sometimes she signs to herself when she is alone.  For more information, see The Gorilla Foundation.