That makes those baboons more intelligent than half the idiots I went to school with!
‘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.
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.
This reminds me of a recent maths post by Nick Berry, on a better strategy for solving the Hangman word puzzle. http://www.datagenetics.com/blog/april12012/index.html
Il devrait apprendre a parler au gouvernement au Québec peut-être ils les écouteraient ouin
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