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2007年NPR美国国家公共电台五月-Apes Will Choose Names for New Neighbors

时间:2007-07-21 03:14来源:互联网 提供网友:joly   字体: [ ]
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In Des Moines, Iowa, there's a research facility called the Great Ape Trust. The resident Bonobos there recently acquired two new neighbors when the Iowa Department of Natural Resources donated a pair of trumpeter swans to the Trust. As far as the swans remain nameless but not for long. Bonobos are a highly intelligent ape species that resembles chimpanzees. So Carol Swartz, a cognitive1 scientist at the institute is asking them to name their new feathered friends. I spoke2 with Ms. Swartz recently about the two sibling3 Bonobos, a male and a female who have been charged with naming the swans.

Kanzi is a 26-year-old male. Panbanisha is his sister. She's 21 now, and I think Panbanisha has a little bit bigger vocabulary, but Kanzi is much more responsive and reactive and uses his own vocalizations. Panbanisha is much more considered in her responses.

She's a little more thoughtful.

She, she is and so I would say that he is more vocal4 than she is but that doesn't mean that, that he's more adept5 at language. I think they are both very very skilled.

But you don't have a conversation with them like I'm having a conversation with you. How do you, how do you communicate with them?

Well, we do have a conversation. We can understand the general nature of their vocalizations. They gesture and we certainly can read their gestures and they can read ours. They have a lexigram vocabulary.

What exactly is a lexigram?

A lexigram is an abstract symbol or an abstract design. There are a variety of words on their lexigrams, so we can point to the lexigrams, we also use spoken English as we point and they point to the lexigrams in response to us or to request something from us. So it is a back and forth6 interaction. It's just not limited to words.

How do you know that the, the Bonobo is, is taking that to a different level but it isn't an actual linguistic7 skill?

Well, we can make observations first, and I think if you observe your dog and say the word "walk", that's when the ears go up and the excitement occurs. But the rest of the sentence may not be processed. The Bonobos are much more sensitive to a large number of words. They can put words together in unique ways. An example would be, Kanzi, can you put the pine needles into the refrigerator? And he would pick up pine needles from among a large number of objects, take them over, open a refrigerator and put them in. That's a big concept.

Now, are you gonna give them certain choices, certain names to choose from?

That's seems like er, a reasonable approach is to give them a list of names that from our interactions with them, we think might be appropriate for the swans. Maybe they would want to name them, name one of them White because they are white. Maybe they would want to name them something like Big because they are big. But also there are certain things in their environment that they are interested in and right now, one of the Bonobo staff is reading Harry8 Potter to them. So we all kind of think that one of the birds might be named Harry Potter.

Carol Swartz is a cognitive scientist at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines Iowa, thank you for talking with us.

Thank you.

For photos of the Bonobos at work you can go to our website, NPR. org.

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1 cognitive Uqwz0     
adj.认知的,认识的,有感知的
参考例句:
  • As children grow older,their cognitive processes become sharper.孩子们越长越大,他们的认知过程变得更为敏锐。
  • The cognitive psychologist is like the tinker who wants to know how a clock works.认知心理学者倒很像一个需要通晓钟表如何运转的钟表修理匠。
2 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
3 sibling TEszc     
n.同胞手足(指兄、弟、姐或妹)
参考例句:
  • Many of us hate living in the shadows of a more successful sibling.我们很多人都讨厌活在更为成功的手足的阴影下。
  • Sibling ravalry has been common in this family.这个家里,兄弟姊妹之间的矛盾很平常。
4 vocal vhOwA     
adj.直言不讳的;嗓音的;n.[pl.]声乐节目
参考例句:
  • The tongue is a vocal organ.舌头是一个发音器官。
  • Public opinion at last became vocal.终于舆论哗然。
5 adept EJIyO     
adj.老练的,精通的
参考例句:
  • When it comes to photography,I'm not an adept.要说照相,我不是内行。
  • He was highly adept at avoiding trouble.他十分善于避开麻烦。
6 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
7 linguistic k0zxn     
adj.语言的,语言学的
参考例句:
  • She is pursuing her linguistic researches.她在从事语言学的研究。
  • The ability to write is a supreme test of linguistic competence.写作能力是对语言能力的最高形式的测试。
8 harry heBxS     
vt.掠夺,蹂躏,使苦恼
参考例句:
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  choose  name
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