Koko the Gorrilla

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Jocelyn bolanos
Anthropology 118
22 October 2012

Koko the Gorrilla
Koko is an extraordinary gorilla that is able to communicate to humans by the use of American Sign Language. Although there may be many linguists who discredit this notion, AOl chat was able to provide transcripts between penny, who is Koko’s translator, and Koko the gorilla through the use of American Sign Language The transcripts provide evidence of gestures, behaviors, and thoughts that Koko does through her conversation with penny. To begin with, Koko’s symbolic behavior lacks compared to that of penny and AOL behaviors, but let us take into consideration that we, as humans have developed language as part of culture for several centuries and as for Koko the gorilla she has only been train for only a couple of years, I suspect. Through out the transcript Koko shows gestures and behaviors that to many would believe can symbolize her way of understanding and comprehending rationalized ideas. For example, when penny asked Koko if she believed people loved her, Koko responded by saying, “Love no. (headshake).” This simple yet sophisticated answer can provide evidence that Koko is able to communicate with humans even if the form of the sentence is not correct the way people would assume it to be. However, because Koko has her own grammar system of rules it allows for the combination of those words into meaningful sentences. This could also be seen in human language, if the sentence formatting was wrong we would still be able to decipher what the message is trying to saying. Another example that can be seen of a symbolic behavior of language is when Koko says, “ people apple give me.” Penny recognizes the signs that Koko gives, therefore both have an understanding for each other’s sign even if the sign are arbitrary. Furthermore, I would consider Koko a speaker of language. A language is the capacity of acquiring and using complex systems of communication. All languages rely on...
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