Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Speech act theory describes units of language as acts which function to change the behavior or beliefs of the partner. Therefore, with every utterance an individual seeks a communicative goal that is the underlying motive for the utterance’s production; this is the utterance’s function. Studies of deaf and hearing human children classify utterances into categories of communicative function. This study classified signing chimpanzees’ utterances into the categories used in human studies. The chimpanzees utilized all seven categories of communicative functions and used them in ways that resembled human children. The chimpanzees’ utterances functioned to answer questions, request objects and actions, describe objects and events, make statements about internal states, accomplish tasks such as initiating games, protest interlocutor behavior, and as conversational devices to maintain and initiate conversation.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): American Sign Language; Chimpanzee; communicative function; cross-fostered
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error