Sunday, July 29, 2012

43. Washoe and Empathy

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Read the following passage quickly to get an idea of what it is about.

[Adapted from New Success at First Certificate by Robert O’Neill, Michael Duckworth and Kathy Gude]

Dolphins are not the only animals ... (1) humans that use sounds in an apparently intelligent manner. Whales also use a complex system of sounds ... (2) is similar in many ways to a human language. One type of whale even sings, and its songs can ... (3) on for as long as three or four hours. What is more, they can be heard under water at ... (4) of more than 300 kilometres. After analysing one of these songs with the aid of a computer, Carl Sagan said it ... (5) at least a million 'bits' of information. This is approximately the same ... (6) of 'bits' as in a long poem like the Odyssey.

Washoe laughing
Chimpanzees also use a system of different sounds to communicate with each ... (7). One type of cry ... (8) to mean something like 'danger in the air' or 'big bird' and another apparently means 'danger on the ground' or 'snake'. When they ... (9) the first cry, they hide under trees or in holes and look up at the sky.
The second cry causes them to hide in the upper ... (10) of trees and to stare nervously at the grass.

Chimpanzees are also ... (11) of learning sign language. So are gorillas. One chimp called Washoe learned to ... (12) about 160 separate signs meaning ... (13) things as 'Give me a drink' and 'banana'. Washoe even ... (14) to swear. She had a teacher called Jack ... (15) once refused to give her a drink. Washoe ... (16) angrier and angrier and used several signs which ... (17) 'dirty Jack'!

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A group of chimps at a research institute in Atlanta, Georgia, have recently ... (18) taught to type sentences, using a kind of computer. The chimps' trainer was called Tim, and he kept correcting the ... (19) one of the chimps made. The chimp obviously wanted Tim to stop ... (20) him and typed out the following request: 'Tim, please leave room!'

Here are the missing words. Fill each of the numbered blanks with one word. Notice that sometimes more than one alternative is possible.

got    such  learned  other correcting  contained  distances  make/use  been  besides  branches seems/appears  who  mistakes   capable  number/amount hear   go  meant  which/that

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A. Complete the following sentences with an appropriate word formed from the word in CAPITALS.
Example: Notice the similarity of these words. (SIMILAR)
1. Language is a means of ... (COMMUNICATE)
2. Dolphins are ... very intelligent. (APPEAR)
3. How do they show their ... ? (INTELLIGENT)
4. Sagan looked at Elvar in ... (ASTONISH)
5. He wanted to learn more about the ... of a dolphin's brain.(DEVELOP)
6. The chimp's trainer made several ... (CORRECT)
7. His ... to stop annoyed the chimp. (REFUSE)
8. The chimp looked at Tim ... (ANGRY)

Which is the phrasal verb?
B Study these examples. The same pair of words is used twice. But is the meaning the same in both examples? Which of the two is the phrasal verb?

The mature Washoe
a. Have you ever looked into a microscope?
b. Carl Sagan has looked into the way dolphins communicate with each other.

c. When the chimps hear a certain cry, they look up.
d. Look up the words you don't understand in the dictionary.

e. When I was very young, I wanted to go on the stage as an actor.
f. If you give him a chance, he will go on talking forever.

Washoe shortly before her death
g. Go up the stairs and turn left.
h. Prices go up but never come down.
i. Come down here!

Study examples a-i above and find the sentence with a pair of words meaning
1. investigate
2. search for and find in a book or list
3. continue
4. rise
5. fall
Two true stories: Flo and Flint, and Washoe's empathy