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‘Wasp’ is an English word, but ‘telk’ is not. You and I know this because we speak English. But in a French laboratory, six baboons have also learned to tell the difference between genuine English words, and nonsense ones. They can sort their wasps from their telks, even though they have no idea that the former means a stinging insect and the latter means nothing. They don’t understand the language, but can ‘read’ nonetheless.
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That makes those baboons more intelligent than half the idiots I went to school with!
This is important. Recognizing the symbols is half the battle. The next step would be to associate these words with the corresponding objects and actions that they represent.
The results apparently include trials that included previously seen examples. It would be more interesting to know how they did on examples that were exclusively new.
Il devrait apprendre a parler au gouvernement au Québec peut-être ils les écouteraient ouin
This gives me some ideas for a reading module for first-graders that I'm working on.
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