Human Speech and Non-Human Primates

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, atheist, writer/researcher, nature-lover, dog-owner

If you had a monkey and you treated it like a human child and over time you had English classes for it, would it learn English?

By “English,” I think you mean: Could monkeys learn to speak human language?

The experiment has been done, and is on-going, according to articles I see online.

Quote from the National Post article linked above:

No non-human primates have been able to produce speech, and not for lack of eager humans trying to teach them. Even chimpanzees raised from birth in human homes, just like human babies, fail miserably at what nearly every human baby manages with ease, from “goo-goo gaga” all the way to “Dad, you’re so embarrassing.”


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