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2017高级会计师《职称英语》基础班:阅读理解(三)

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[LV.10]笑傲江湖

发表于 2017-10-15 09:07:54 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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Washoe Learned American Sign Language

  An animal that influenced scientific thought hasdied. A chimpanzee named Washoe and born in Africa died of natured causes latelast month at the age of 42 at a research center in the American state ofWashington. Washoe had become known in the scientific community and around theworld for her ability to use American Sign Language. She was said to be the first non-human to learn a human language. Herskills also led to debate about primates and their ability to understandlanguage.

  Research scientists Allen and Beatrix Gardner beganteaching Washoe sign language in 1966. In 1969, the Gardners described Washoe’s progress in a scientific report.The people who experimented with Washoe said she grew to understand about 250words. For example, Washoe made signs to communicate when it was time to eat.She could request foods like apples and bananas.

  She also asked questions like,“who is coming to play?” Once the news about Washoe spread, many language scientists beganstudies of their own into this new and exciting area of research. The wholedirection of primate research changed.However, critics arguedWashoe only learned to repeat sign language movements from watching herteachers. They said she had never developed true language skills. Even now,there are some researchers who suggest that primates learn sign language onlyby memory, and perform the signs only for prizes.

  Yet Washoe’s keepers disagree. Roger Fouts is a former student of the Gardners.He took Washoe to a research center in Ellensburg, Washington. There, Washoetaught sign language to three younger chimpanzees, which are still alive.

  Scientists like private researcher Jane Goodallbelieve Washoe provided new information about the mental workings ofchimpanzees. Today, there are not as many scientists studying language skillswith chimps. Part of the reason is that this kind of research takes a very longtime.

  Debate continues about chimps’ understanding of humancommunication. Yet, one thing is sure—Washoe changedpopular ideas about the possibilities of animal intelligence.41.The Gardners’ experiment with Washoe_______.

  A.began in 1969

  B.won a big prize

  C.lasted three years

  D.influenced primate research

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