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Okay then, removing the idea of complex grammar have there been any
studies into vocabulary and ease of learning there? I still don't
think that having a number of ways to indicate the plural would be of
any help to a chimpanzee, or irregular verbs etc.
I was also thinking about what the effect would be of a language with
sounds created to be as close to their vocal chords as possible but
without leaving the range of sounds that humans usually use. Would
they pick up vocabulary quicker that way?
Here's an article where they see whether chimps can move their lips to
approximate English sounds, which is the closest they can get.
http://www.danacentre.org.uk/discuss/forum_posts.asp?TID=1045&PN=1
What about a language where a banana is an 'eek' and drive is 'akaak'
and so on as opposed to schwas and th-sounds and so on?
For all I know there has been a study on this sort of thing already.

2007/2/15, Jens Wilkinson <[log in to unmask]>:
> --- MacLeod Dave <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Is this certain? Have they used a simplified form of
> > English to talk
> > to chimps then, taking out verb conjugations and
> > whatnot to make it
> > extra easy?
> > There's a lot of colloquial English that takes out
> > some of what you've
> > said - "You come down here, you're dead."
>
> I'm nearly certain, after reading a little bit about
> it online. The point that was being made seems to be
> that apes can understand sequential ideas, but not
> hierarchical ones. So in other words, there is
> something fundamental that they cannot understand in
> *human language*, i.e. *any* human language. It's not
> the words that are the problem, but rather the
> complexity itself. In English, you can take out the
> "if", but you can't take out the *if*. If that makes
> any sense. You can simplify "the man who is eating the
> fish" to "the man eating the fish", but the problem is
> still there; it's still a hierarchical construction.
> So while an ape might understand "John is eating. Jane
> is drinking," it wouldn't understand the meaning of
> "While John was eating, Jane was drinking." And while
> it would understand "You are happy," it couldn't
> understand "I think you are happy." Because it's
> hierarchial. And there is nothing you can do about it.
> I don't mean to be a "specie-ist", but actually there
> are structural differences in the brains of apes from
> ours (and from each other as well), and there is no
> technical trick to get around that. It's probably an
> issue of how much of their brain is dedicated to
> speech processing.
>
> Jens Wilkinson
> Neo Patwa language: http://patwa.pbwiki.com
>
>
>
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